Wildlife conservation hasn’t escaped the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is largely due to the fact that tourism funding, which supports the conservation of wide swaths of Africa and some 23 million livelihoods, has all but dried up.
Wildlife-based tourism in Africa is worth approximately US$71 billion annually. Much of this funds the management of protected areas. For example, the protection of just one white rhinoceros at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy costs about US$10,000 each year.
Since the start of the pandemic there’s been a cut to funds for anti-poaching, surveillance and fence line management in most African reserves. Trophy hunting is a key source of this funding. It contributes an estimated $200 million to economies across the continent annually.
Trophy hunting takes place across much of sub-Saharan Africa with South Africa, Namibia and Tanzania holding the lion’s share of the market. The debate over its utility as a source of conservation revenue takes on a new urgency in the light of Covid-19. Read more…