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Botswana hunting ban takes effect

Original Source: allAfrica

The Botswana Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism’s ban on wildlife hunting commenced at the beginning of the year, says ministry spokesperson, Ms Caroline Bogale-Jaiyoba. Ms Bogale-Jaiyeoba said the ban was on all controlled hunting areas or hunting management units throughout the country.

Animal tracks crisscross the Botswana landscape  © Marcus Westberg

Animal tracks crisscross the Botswana landscape © Marcus Westberg

Hunting of allocated quotas had been taking place in many of these designated areas, but no quotas would be issued in the areas anymore, she said.

She noted that the decision to temporarily ban hunting was necessitated by the evident decline of several wildlife species in the country. “The causes of the decline are due to a combination of factors such as anthropogenic impacts, including illegal off take and habitat fragmentation or loss,” noted Ms Bogale-Jaiyeoba, adding that the countrywide aerial survey of 2012, and an analysis of trends since 1987, showed significant overall declines in particular of tsessebe, sitatunga, lechwe and springbok.

“Of particular concern, however, is the fact that all the surveyed species except elephant and impala declined in at least one protected area.”

She said this was noteworthy as protected areas were traditionally considered to be wildlife refuges. Ms Bogale-Jaiyeoba said no hunting licences would be issued with the exception of birds under conditions to be specified by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP).

She, however, said game rangers would be allowed to hunt species classified as game animals that are confined inside appropriate fencing under the Wildlife Conservation and National Parks Act.

Ms Bogale-Jaiyeoba further noted that the Wildlife Conservation and National Parks Act prescribed penalties for anyone who hunted without a licence. The hunting moratorium also prescribes penalties for those who capture or hunt during the period of the ban.

She said the DWNP and other law enforcement agencies would intensify monitoring and continue to monitor the status of wildlife species during the ban and provide regular reports to the nation.

“The ban will remain in place as long as it takes to understand the causes of wildlife declines and for measures to reverse the causes of declines to take effect” she said.

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Africa Geographic Editorial

We're the Africa Geographic editorial team – a diverse set of editors, designers and social media natives, all united by our passion for this addictive continent.

  • stanescu v. ion


  • Mark

    Hunting only stopped on Government ground other ground is still open.

  • John Hahn

    A different perspective on the effects of the hunting ban.

  • http://www.traveltoeastafrica.com/ Africa Travel Guide

    Hope this works to save Africa’s wildlife

  • DC

    What will interesting to see is, if the hunting areas that are now left unprotected, whether the animals with suffer additional poaching. It’s a perverse situation that the hunters (well, those who are doing it ethically) are most likely protecting the area better than leaving it fallow. I.e. they may be allocated 10 elephants but their absence may mean the poachers take 11. (No, before you ask – I’m not a hunter – I run photographic safaris (in Botswana).) The biggest issue will be that the hunting is banned without any alternative (realistic) use for the land. Many of these areas are not of use for photographic tourism (demonstrated by some areas now being tendered out for the third time) and with no protective presence there the poachers may have a free run.

    Hunting an animal just for the sake of killing it doesn’t make much sense to me, but under the existing system may well be a case of better the devil you know.

    Also, what are the unemployed hunting staff now going to do? Hmmm…

    • TakeAPicture

      As a photographer, I will spend more time in Botswana supporting a country that protects their wildlife.. I prefer to spend as little time in SA as possible, partly because of all their allowed poaching.

    • Stephen Palos

      DC, I am a hunter and I firmly believe that hunting is the best land use for any tract of land that does not lend itself to non consumptive tourism (also known as photographic safari) for the very reasons you mention. What Geoff Tapson has failed to understand by his reading of the article is that in fact, in the period of hunting, Elephant (and impala) INCREASED in number.
      The species mentioned as being in decline were certainly not hunted into decline and in fact the most likely reasons for their specific decline are either of the effects of habitat change due to elephant overpopulation, or habit change due to disruption of historic migration routes where agriculture & human settlement has occurred.
      Another, and more sinister possibility is the desire by elements in government to get eyes & ears away from fracking and logging interests. Hunting outfitters would be the first to sound alarm bells where this is occurring.

  • Geoff Tapson

    I think that the Botswana Government has done the right thing. Elephant and many other species are on the decline. It will be interesting to see how this will look in two years from now. I wonder if the hunting zones apply by their quota regimes? I have known that not to happen elsewhere in Africa. This will also give the animal populations time to recover, depending on the duration of the hunting ban. I am sure that in the areas where the ban applies the Government will have protection in place against poaching.

  • Stephen Palos

    It’s NOT the hunting that’s doing it!
    See this link:


    for one of the reasons

  • Stephen Palos

    The impacts of tourist pressure is going to wipe out the wildebeest too soon


    The poor beasts cannot even get out the rivers anymore!

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