The Dallas Safari Club Will Save the Endangered Black Rhino by Auctioning Off the Chance to Shoot One

BlackRhino.jpg
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The black rhino is teetering on the edge of extinction, and it has been for some time. Their numbers have dropped precipitously over the past several decades, dwindling from several hundred thousand a century ago to a couple thousand a decade ago, partly from habitat loss but mostly from poachers. Rhino horns fetch a premium on the black market, typically from practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine who believe they can cure a wide array of ailments, from snakebites to devil possession. Their numbers have recovered slightly in recent years -- there are now 5,055 according to the nonprofit Save the Rhino -- but the pressure is unrelenting.

The Dallas Safari Club is on a mission to save the black rhino, and it plans to do so in the most counterintuitive way possible: by offering up the chance to shoot one of them dead.

It's not every day that hunters get to open fire on an endangered species, but the DSC got a special permit from the government of Namibia, and a green light from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to hunt one of that country's 1,800 remaining black rhinos. The club will auction it off at its big annual convention in January.

Let's pause just a moment to let that sink in. The DSC is protecting a critically endangered species. By shooting it.

The concept isn't new. That's basically what the DSC does year in and year out, and it helped fuel the efforts of early conservationists like Teddy Roosevelt.

"The whole model of wildlife conservation, of sustainable-use conservation, is that any resource, if it has a value, it will stay there, it will continue to flourish," says DSC Executive Director Ben Carter. Hunters are often the ones who impart value to the land and keep it from being developed or otherwise spoiled.

Rarely, though, is the link between killing animals and protecting them so stark as when someone auctions off a rhino-hunting permit. Then again, it's rare for a hunting permit to be so lucrative. Carter expects the DSC's to fetch as much as $750,000, every dime of which will go to the Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia'’s Black Rhino.

The good that money will do for the trust fund's efforts, which include everything from population surveys to health checkups to posting guards to ward off poachers, far outweighs the damage.

"Black rhinos tend to have a fairly high mortality rate," Carter says. "Generally speaking, out of a population of 2,000, harvesting three rhinos over a couple or three years has no impact on the health of the rhino herd at all."

Since it was announced last week, Carter has heard a fair share of criticism from people who object to the idea of hunting an endangered species, but he brushes it off.

"People are talking about 'Why don't you do a photo safari?' or whatever," Carter says. "Well, that's great, but people don't pay for that."

That said, if a someone wants to cough up almost seven figures and use the permit to go shoot the rhinos with a camera, they are more than welcome to do so.


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56 comments
SandraK
SandraK

I have a much better idea which I'm sure will raise much more than $350K in the long run and will make a lot of people happy. Why not sell permits to shoot the old, ornery and useless members of the Dallas Safari Club? I'm sure some wives might even back this endeavour. And it won't even make a dent in the list of possible extinction of the Dallas Safari Club members. 

garethgj
garethgj

this men at the Dallas Safari Club, as they always are, must not only be absolutely brain dead and care NOTHING for wildlife or conservation but must also have very small penises for feeling the need to feel more manly by doing this

aesopclimber
aesopclimber

If the point of this auction is to "preserve" and "save" a species, then why is the DSC appealing to an audience of people willing to kill that species? Why not offer another incentive? Must you really offer up an innocent animal for sport? Does empathy even exist anymore? What the fuck gives humans the right to kill for fun? Are your lives really that insignificant that you must show off how "cool" you are to kill something? It sounds a lot like a gang initiation when a new member must kill an innocent, defenseless victim to prove their power.

Just imagine someone invading your home while you're sleeping or eating dinner or on the toilet. Then imagine them shooting you and bragging to their friends about how much fun it was to bag you. Then they'll mount your head on the wall and invite company over to show you off. Until you can honestly say that that idea sounds appealing to you, you are ignorant to think you are any better than anyone or anything else.

Humans are no more entitled to live their lives than any other species. Those that think otherwise are going to be the end of civilization as we know it.


jmcclain37
jmcclain37

I like to hunt, but I've only pulled the trigger on another living being for food.  I think that what they are doing is a great thing to raise money to save another living being.  We were created to take care of God's creatures.  So, I hope at the last minute he/she has a great safari, but doesn't pull the trigger.

Elzbeth
Elzbeth

If you want to raise money, dart the rhino, take the horn and sell it to the Chinese at great price, putting the funds back into the save the rhino fund to pay for the efforts.  The same can be done for elephants.  Poachers will not be interested in rhinos with no horn or elephants with no tusks - like duh......


Shiraz1
Shiraz1

WAAAAAAAA WAAAAA! I cannot BELIEVE people are complaining about this! Do you have any idea how thinly stretched the park rangers in Africa are?? How short on resources? How many DIE every year trying to protect the animals? They're going to get $750,000, out of this, maybe more, and you would prevent that to save ONE rhino being added to the nearly 800 that have already been killed? Why don't you shut your faYce, step back and think about WHY the government granted this permit!

donswanz41
donswanz41

Surely, this is a hoax.  I can not believe that any one or any organization is that stupid. n Don and I CAN! :-))     

Lovemesumhunter
Lovemesumhunter

Oh, my bad...  i thought that Ben Carter's nickname was Black Rhino...  I'd like to withdraw my bid.?!

lezliegoodwin
lezliegoodwin

Wait, you think you can save the Endangered Black Rhino by Auctioning Off the Chance to Shoot One?  Are you an idiot?

roadsidecouch
roadsidecouch

Well they really wanted to raise money by auctioning the right to shoot a libtard but they could not get a permit to do that so they got a permit to shoot a rihino and offered up a chance to shoot a rhino instead. 

Conservationist
Conservationist

History has shown that conservation hunting is not effective. In fact, earlier this year Botswana banned ALL hunting because they found that ecotourism has become one of their largest industries- boosting their economy. Hunting for conservation is an outdated idea being perpetuated by hunters for not reason other than the fact that they want to hunt big game. It is clear that conservation is not the primary goal or concern here.

MattL11
MattL11

I'm not a huge fan of the message this sends, but I hope the money goes to do what they say it's going to do. I don't doubt that, on balance, this'll probably do more good than harm. 


Who knows? Maybe the winner will have REALLY bad aim... 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

This animal is a magnificent creature.  It's shy and nearly blind due to some quirk in its evolution.  The babies are some of the sweetest little animals on Earth.  How anyone could shoot them because of some ridiculous belief that their horns are aphrodisiacs just appalls me.

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

If not for big game hunters & the staggering amount of $$ they spend to obtain trophy permits, most of these endangered species would have disappeared long ago, especially in Africa.

eviljoen72
eviljoen72

' The black rhino is teetering on the edge of extinction, and it has been for some time' - In South Africa the number of Rhino's killed for this year alone stands at 758+ - How will shooting another one be conserving the life of these 'on the edge of extinction' animals?  This is a complete contradiction!!  Just explain the logic -  I have to kill something to conserve it?  I hope the person who get this chance, will swap his gun for a camera and rather shoot some photos of such a beautiful animal!!!   Why do people thing that its  'just another animal'?  It has a soul, it sheds tears when in pain, it hurts, it loves!  My oh my - what a disappointment we must be to our Creator!  He gave us this planet, the animals, nature to look after - not to destroy it!!!    You big gun does not make you more of a man you know, but rather your big heart!  Reconsider it - please!  Rather take the money that the club would have paid (animal and hunting permit) and  re-invest it into keeping the species alive!!!

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

That's been my strategy to save my endangered bank account. Each day I shoot a couple bucks on something frivolous. Too early to tell if it's working.

robbie
robbie

How have the alternatives to saving the black rhino been working, particularly those the Dallas Observer is sponsoring?

Now me, I'm waiting for Namibia to auction off chances to hunt poachers. Wait, that's brilliant. All these ex-military and black ops contractors being demobbed from the ME with excess skills and itchy trigger fingers...surely there's a profitable poacher hunting tournament to be organized. I mean, it's not as if we can boycott the iPhones the Chinese who are driving this illegal market are assembling. That would be insane. We might miss a text.


JFPO
JFPO

Gun-nut tiny.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

How tiny does you dick have to be to need to shoot an endangered species?

Shiraz1
Shiraz1

If they killed two a year at $750,000, over ten years that is FIFTEEN MILLION DOLLARS for 20 rhinos. Do you have a CLUE how many that would save? How many killings the rangers would be able to prevent? Those poachers come in like somali pirates, with freaking heavy artillery, and the rangers are on the thinnest of shoestring budgets. This is not AMERICA, and you can't see two feet past your stupid face to see how that $750,000 means literal life or death for many rhinos in NAMIBIA.

rburch20
rburch20

@Conservationist And yet naturalists who examined Botswana have said for over a decade they host about 3 times the number of elephants their ecosystem can support...

The elephants are destroying the ecosystem that supports every other species, this is a well known and understood fact.  When elephants are overpopulated other species decline.

Banning hunting is politically the better polling move, but it will do nothing to help the ecosystem recover...

RichardC
RichardC

@Conservationist Bullshit. Botswana closed hunting because the antis got to the right folks in the government. Those antis will be responsible for the largest die off of wildlife since Kenya banned hunting. I  know the Botswana  Professional Hunters. I know what they have done to protect elephant habitat. I know the hundreds of thousand of hunt derived dollars that have been  spent on boreholes, pumps and diesel so that elephants don't destroy everything within a 2 mile radius of the only naturally occurring water source. I know  who pays for anti-poaching efforts that the government underfunds.Compare present day Kenya to Tanzania. Both banned hunting in the 70s. Tanzania quickly reversed course. Tanzania is Africa's Garden of Eden - a wildlife paradise. Kenya is a total wildlife disaster. Namibia 's biomass is greater than it has ever been. Why? Because of game ranches and solid game management based on sustainable use practices. History has shown that regulated hunting is the ONLY effective tool in wildlife conservation. Don't believe me? Google Whitetail deer, Rocky Mountain Elk, Wild Turkey, Desert Big Horn Sheep, etc. Hunters, and their dollars, saved these species. Hunters saved duck and geese populations. Hunters are actually the ones who were instrumental in pulling both the Black and White Rhinos from the edge. Dallas Safari Club funded the construction of 6 boreholes in Zambia so that gam scouts could live closer to Black Rhino populations in the North Luangwa National Park and respond to poaching activity in a timely (hopefully) manner. The Black Rhinos in that park will never be hunted. DSC has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-poaching efforts, DNA studies,

So yeah, conservation is clearly the goal in the case of the Black Rhino permit. $500K to $1m will be raised for Black Rhino conservation. Why is that so hard to understand? If you don't like it, come to the auction and by the permit,  then spend another $50 to $100k to move the bull to your refuge of choice where he will kill younger bulls before finally being done in. 

Eco tourism will never replace hunting - for many reasons. In Botswana, outside of the Okavango Delta, the land looks like south Texas scrub - great for hunters, horrible for what most want from an African photo safari. If it was doable, why has the Kenya disaster unfolded as it has over the last 35 years? The eco tourism experiment is the next great coming disaster in sub-Saharan Africa.

rburch20
rburch20

@eviljoen72 "How will shooting another one be conserving the life of these 'on the edge of extinction' animals?"

Because the animal they are culling will be specifically chosen.  They have been allowing limited hunting of Black Rhinos for a couple years now.

The permit is for a specific problem animal.

Generally they choose an older male that is no longer able to breed, but is still guarding a harem and preventing fertile males from mating with the females.

It doesn't take a biology degree to realize a population will recover better with a fertile male mating with a herd of females than a sterile one.

In the past the countries paid professional hunters to remove these animals, then they realized it made more sense to let a sport hunter pay them to do the same job.

kduble
kduble

@eviljoen72  In the creator's natural order, everything eats everything else, each of which goes down in fear and agony. How many animals have you eaten since you hopped out of bed this morning.

NewsDog
NewsDog

@eviljoen72 The only time I can recall seeing an animal shed a tear is in a Disney movie. And we all learned from Disnsey that on the savanah lions and their prey all live together peacefully.  

eviljoen72
eviljoen72

Apologies for my spelling mistakes, I was in a bit of hurry here..... !

RichardC
RichardC

@robbie Tanzania has recently announced a shoot to kill policy on poachers, so your idea may be closer to reality than you think

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb topcommenter

Take the bid money from this auction for bounties on the poachers.

kbowmanphoto
kbowmanphoto

@Montemalone I agree with you, but I will take it a step further and say how small of a dick and brain does it take to actually get pleasure out of killing anything in the name of sport or trophies! Seriously, only sociopaths would get off on that,  in my opinion!

SandraK
SandraK

@Shiraz1

BUT you have to have the rhinos to breed to be able to save them. Money alone doesn't do it. Furthermore, I doubt very much that the people in Namibia will ever actually see the money you're talking about. I might be in America but being South American does give me a clue about how crooked things are and how things don't work. Please explain exactly where the $750K for 2 dead rhinos would go and how it would help.

Conservationist
Conservationist

@rburch20 @Conservationist 

1. The African elephant is an endangered species. So much so, in fact, that it is estimated that at current poaching rates the African Elephant will be extinct in 10 years. The same goes for the Rhino. South Africa has already had over 700 poached rhino in 2013.

 2. When the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species uplisted the elephant to Appendix I so that no elephant parts could be traded internationally in the early 1990's rates of poaching across africa declined radically. Additionally, the value of Ivory fell in Kenya from $140 to $5 per lb. After six african countries had their elephant populations moved from Appendix I to Appendix II in the late 1990's the rates of poaching shot back up so that we now have the current poaching crisis. 

 3. Ecotourism accounts for 12% of Botswana's national GDP and attracts foreign investment. It is also a more sustainable option- for while conservation hunting makes animals economically valueable, it also feeds into maintaining the desire to hunt- and maintains the norm that hunting is acceptable. Ecotourism accomplishes the same economic goals but while sending the message that wild animals are not there for the entertainment of humans to shoot with rifles.



Conservationist
Conservationist

@RichardC @Conservationist

1. The elephant is an endangered species. So much so, in fact, that it is estimated that at current poaching rates the African Elephant will be extinct in 10 years. The same goes for the Rhino. South Africa has already had over 700 poached rhino in 2013.

 2. When the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species uplisted the elephant to Appendix I so that no elephant parts could be traded internationally in the early 1990's rates of poaching across africa declined radically. Additionally, the value of Ivory fell in Kenya from $140 to $5 per lb. After six african countries had their elephant populations moved from Appendix I to Appendix II in the late 1990's the rates of poaching shot back up so that we now have the current poaching crisis. 

 3. Ecotourism accounts for 12% of Botswana's national GDP and attracts foreign investment. It is also a more sustainable option- for while conservation hunting makes animals economically valueable, it also feeds into maintaining the desire to hunt- and maintains the norm that hunting is acceptable. Ecotourism accomplishes the same economic goals but while sending the message that wild animals are not there for the entertainment of humans to shoot with rifles.


mvolmut
mvolmut

@RichardC @ConservationistYou're looking at it way too closely RC. This requires a step back to see how ridiculous and inward thinking that this kind of approach continues to represent. This is a step backward and likely going to backfire eventually as it is now in press everywhere. And how on Earth is any one with any standard income going to attend this auction? Send me a ticket and I will be there. 

Obviously there is a history to this kind of conservation. It's easy to find and easy to talk about. However, history doesn't qualify as action or apply to every instance of opportunity, or serve as a convenient way of explaining or condoning ideas and actions of backward thinking. What is the history of the people who have opposed these types of solutions? That is history too. 

This represents a lack of creative processes for conservation that the Dallas Safari Club is expressing. What a laughing stock to say it is not. Get a clue beyond the quantified excuses. Not interested in history. By the way, exclaiming "bulshit" is not a great way to introduce any point. Maybe you should start over.

ruddski
ruddski

In too much of a hurry to read the whole article too.

rburch20
rburch20

@kbowmanphoto @Montemalone or maybe someone who wants to see the species recover?

The animal killed during these hunts is specifically selected to be culled.

They are males unable to breed, but still guarding females and preventing fertile males from mating with them.

Removing a couple of those specifically picked animals greatly increases the recovery rate of the total population.

Given the reproduction rate of Black Rhinos, it may very well mean the difference between recovery and extinction...

ruddski
ruddski

Man up. Hunting has been in our genrs forever. Maybe liberals could breed that out, but liberals aren't breeding.

rburch20
rburch20

@Conservationist @rburch20 "The African elephant is an endangered species."

Tell that to the World Wildlife Fund.  This info is a few years old, but the number of elephants has increased during that time.

http://wwf.panda.org/?75340/A-numbers-game-Managing-elephants-in-southern-Africa

http://greatunclebill.hubpages.com/hub/Elephant-culling-in-Africa

Last year the Elephant population in Botswana was estimated at over 200,000 animals.  It has increased over 200% since 1992 while elephant hunting was allowed.

"Several scientific studies have shown that the numbers of game animals in Botswana's national parks and game reserves have declined at an alarming rate over the last 10 years. Although the reasons are not clear, there is a body of opinion that attributes this to elephant habitat destruction. Botswana now has in the region of 190 000 elephant.

About 25 years ago it was estimated that the Botswana national parks and game reserves and other state lands could sustain about 60 000 elephants."

RichardC
RichardC

@mvolmut @RichardC @Conservationist 

You're right. Bullshit was the wrong way to start. But dispute the facts I've laid out. Prove that eco-tourism operations will come close to replacing the benefits that hunting provides. I've seen the economic studies. Have you? Contradict the countless success stories that the North American model of conservations has produced. Show me any organization that has done (and continues to do) more for ducks and geese (and all animals that live in riparian habitats) than Ducks Unlimited. Explain away the success of the National Wild Turkey Federation, that has now reached its mission of re-establishing healthy populations in the lower 48 and Hawaii.

The problem, for antis, is that hunters have history and data on their side and they don't, so it is obvious why you aren't interested in history and wish to ignore it.   Antis tried their experiment in Kenya. It has  failed miserably. Are you among those who are  happy to risk the same disgusting results in Botswana? Lack of creative processes?  What single African success story can you point to  that has come from those who oppose hunting or the sale of  permit or two a year?

I'm willing to listen  but I don't believe you have any idea of what goes on in Africa. I've been there many times. I've read the scientific research. I've seen the benefits that hunting dollars have purchased. I've met with the Boards of the  professional hunting associations in Namibia and South Africa. I've met with the tourism ministers from those countries. I've had several conversations with the Namibian ambassador to the US about hunting and the benefits that hunting has provided in southern Africa. I know that most of southern Africa is totally unsuited for game viewing. I know what happened in Kenya. I think  know what works and what doesn't but convince me otherwise.

As to the auction, you confirmed what hunters know. Hunters walk the walk. Others just talk the talk.  I've described a fraction of what hunters have done. This permit isn't the first to be auctioned. The others raised  a lot for rhino conservation. This permit will raise more than all the others combined. You call that a step backward but have referenced not a single alternate program that would produce significant dollars for rhino conservation.  

rburch20
rburch20

@ebailey75057 African Game is eaten when it's killed.  The hunter takes enough meat to feed his party that night, and the rest is given to the local people.

mvolmut
mvolmut

@ruddski Well compassion and intelligence have also been in our genes forever..

ebailey75057
ebailey75057

Ruddski,  I don't believe Moose are on the endangered list.  If you hunt, honor any animal you kill by eating it.  Oherwise your just killing for the sake of killing.

ruddski
ruddski

I like killing the biggest, multi point buck I can find, when I finally get a moose, that heads going on my wall, but some people don't like that. Oh well, so it goes.

scottindallas
scottindallas

@ruddski kbow condemned trophy sport, not hunting.  I think hunting for food is the most honorable way to eat meat (unless you're into placenta, I guess)  but, shooting an animal for it's head is childish, and seems driven by some deficiency.  I don't understand trophy hunting, I'd rather eat a doe than a stag, meat's more tender...and, I know it's the males that have the great racks in the deer family

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