Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

No money to protect elephants

No money to protect elephants

Zimbabwe has missed out on accessing money for elephant conservation 
programmes, due to its non-participation in the recent CITES committee 
meeting in South Africa.
by Stephen Tsoroti

Six African states were allocated money for conservation initiatives at the 
meeting in December 2011. The CITES fund was launched in August 2011 and has 
received approximately $250,000 in contributions from Germany, France and 
the Netherlands. During the three-day meeting, the members of the Committee: 
Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa met 
with representatives from Germany and the Netherlands to allocate $150,000 
to six elephant conservation projects, ranging from investigating regional 
illegal ivory markets to mitigating local human-elephant conflicts.

Poaching on the rise

According to Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, there has been a surge in 
elephant poaching countrywide. Waterholes have been poisoned, land invaders 
have been involved in poaching and trees are being chopped down for 
firewood, placing the animals at risk.

The current national elephant population is about 100,000 and of this Hwange 
National Park holds about 50,000 while the Zambezi Valley, Sebungwe and the 
South East Lowveld hold 30,000, 15,000 and 5,000 respectively. These figures 
are based on aerial surveys undertaken jointly by the Zimbabwe Parks and 
Wildlife Management Authority and World Wide Fund for Nature.

Trophy hunting

To date, Zimbabwe has relied on two programmes for the sustainable 
utilization of elephants in the country: (i) non-consumptive (photographic, 
elephant rides) and (ii) consumptive (trophy hunting and management 
off-take). Consumptive utilization is based on an approved quota with the 
exception of problem animal control which cannot be predicted.

Trophy hunting, which annually utilizes 500 animals that are declared to 
CITES each year, takes place in the following designated places:

• State hunting safari areas – 145 animals

• Private land (mainly conservancies) – 115 animals

• CAMPFIRE in communal areas – 210 animals

• Forestry areas – 30 animals

No trophy hunting takes place in National Parks.

Management off take, unlike trophy hunting, takes place in any protected 
area where elephants occur, including national parks, and involves both 
trophy and non-trophy animals.

However, the trophies are not allowed to be exported. The ivory from such an 
initiative ends up in the central ivory stores at the Parks and Wildlife 
Management Authority Head Quarters. It is properly recorded with a distinct 
serial number, area of origin, cause and date of mortality and size (length 
and weight of tusk).

The ivory is then sold on the domestic market through regular auctions to 
registered ivory manufacturers in line with 1997 CITES COP 10 Resolution 
which allowed Zimbabwe to engage in highly-controlled domestic ivory trade. 
Management off takes are for ecological reasons, to manage surplus animals.

Culling approved

In April 2007, prior to CITES COP 14 in The Hague, SADC Ministers 
responsible for wildlife management approved the Southern Africa Elephant 
Management Strategy which recognizes culling as one of the main tools for 
effective population control. However, in the event that the Authority needs 
to undertake culling, all the political, ecological and other 
considerations, including thorough stakeholder consultations, need to be 

In preparation for a possible requirement to control elephant population 
through culling, the Authority has embarked on a training exercise for its 
staff. The training involves hunting, recovery and processing of elephant 
products and gathering of scientific data.


Survival in the wild

Survival in the wild  Sunday Mail 13/10/2019   Phineas Chauke IT is not called wildlife for nothing. Life in the wild is not only survival

Read More »

ZimParks, IFAW in conservation deal

ZimParks, IFAW in conservation deal Herald 3/10/2019   Elita Chikwati and Ellen Chasokela Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) on Monday signed a Memorandum

Read More »

New Posts: