U.S. FWS APPROVES TWO BLACK RHINO IMPORTS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has approved permits required for the importation of two sport-hunted black rhinoceroses from Namibia. After receiving more than 15,000 public comments regarding the permit applications, the FWS maintained its conclusion that the Namibian black rhino hunting program benefits the conservation of the species. The FWS first recognized the conservation value of the hunts in April 2013 when it issued a permit for the import of one sport-hunted black rhino.
Namibia’s black rhino management program is an excellent example of how hunters can play a critical role in the conservation of species worldwide. The program allows for the harvest of five rhinos per year. Namibia’s wildlife management authority carefully selects each rhino. The rhinos are typically non-breeding, territorial males that prevent younger males from breeding. By removing the selected males, hunters are contributing to the overall growth of the rhino population. Additionally, hunters pay a sizeable amount for each hunt. For example, the two hunts that the FWS recently approved will generate a total of $550,000, all of which contributes to conservation, anti-poaching, and community development efforts in Namibia.
Safari Club hopes that the FWS will continue to recognize the benefit and importance of Namibia’s black rhino program and other important sustainable-use, conservation programs around the world.