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Switch to Forum Live View Spanish King Sacked as World Wildlife Fund Patron
2 years ago  ::  Jul 21, 2012 - 8:09PM #1
arielg
Posts: 9,116

 I understand the King went hunting to  feed his family, given the poor economical situation in Spain. That is what hunting is for. 


The King of Spain has been ousted as a patron of the country’s World Wildlife Fund branch because of an elephant-hunting trip he made to Botswana.


In a statement published online on Saturday, the World Wildlife Fund in Spain announced its decision to scrap the position of honorary president held by the king after complaints about the hunting expedition.


The secretive trip in April came to light when the king was flown home for emergency surgery after a fall. It emerged that the monarch had taken part in an elephant-hunting safari.


"The members of WWF Spain voted today in a general meeting to end the position of honorary president, held until now by King Juan Carlos, from the statutes of the organization," it said in a statement published online.



The king's hunting trip did not go over well with many Spaniards


While the hunting trip was legal under Botswana law, the WWF in Spain said the monarch's participation had made some members uneasy.


"Although this type of hunt is legal and regulated, many members considered it incompatible with the honorary presidency of an international organization for the defense of nature and the environment," the WWF said.


Continued at link.



Edit: for property rights






www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16117479,00.html

Moderated by Stardove on Jul 27, 2012 - 06:58PM
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 21, 2012 - 11:18PM #2
solfeggio
Posts: 9,215

Since the World Wildlife Fund's mission is to protect species and preserve the natural world, it was entirely right for them to sack the King of Spain as their honorary head after his elephant-hunting trip was made public.


It is also perfectly understandable that the Spanish people would be angry when seeing their king enjoying very expensive hunting trips when they are coping with recession and unemployment.


The king's safari cost approximate $8700 a week, with an additional $15,000 charge to kill an elephant.  Then, you have the services of a professional hunter costing a further $2000.


The King - who is nothing more than a figurehead with no real power - earns about $334,000 a year, so he could well afford the expensive hunting trip.


More important than any of this, however, is the fact that the governments of not just Botswana, but also Namibia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa support and encourage safaris and big game hunts, resulting in the killing of millions of animals and contaminating the ecosystems. 


Elephants are killed for their ivory, and the ivory trade is still very profitable, despite the fact that elephant ivory has been banned for twenty years.


And all this is happening despite the fact that elephants are an endangered species.


 


 

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2012 - 1:01PM #3
mindis1
Posts: 7,783

Regardless of the insensitivity and extravagance of King Juan Carlos, it is the problem of overpopulation, not endangerment, of elephants that presses upon Botswana, as is the case in other Southern range states (except for Mozambique, where due to war and other factors, elephant populations were not protected and declined).


I am a little familiar with the situation at Kruger in South Africa after the ban on culling elephants. The elephant population increased at a faster rate than was expected, and continues to do so, despite both the best currently available efforts at chemical birth control and relocation (which is very expensive). One can see the effect of this increase of elephants in the scoured landscape. Photos of areas in Kruger where elephants forage prior to the culling ban compared to the same areas now show stunning (and rapid) desertification. In their normal foraging behavior, elephants cause a great deal of damage to a habitat. Elephants undoubtedly play an important role in altering the gross features of an area, but in a park such as Kruger, managed for a diversity of animals (including, by necessity, large populations of some herbivores), it means the eventual destruction of habitat and loss of food for all animals. It’s unsustainable. In 2005 there were about twice as many elephants in Kruger than before the culling ban. And while it used to be park personnel who performed these culls (and the meat went to feed the carnivores at the National Zoo), it is now quite likely that Kruger will begin holding public auctions for elephant culls.


There is a catch-22 in the fact that under the conditions of parks such as Kruger, elephants easily overpopulate because (among other factors) they have no predators. Unlike the overpopulated deer in certain parks in the US, habitats for elephants in South African and Botswanan parks (at least) are not managed with the intention of producing huge populations.


In addition to the habitat destruction caused by normal elephant foraging, male elephants, who hang around in horny gangs, engage in incomprehensible rampages during musth. (Musth is probably a very painful experience as glands in the head swell and press upon the elephant’s eyes; the head-butting against trees and digging tusks into the ground suggest trying to relieve pain.) Anyone who might be in the vicinity of wild elephants is safer the fewer elephants in musth are nearby. The problems that occur with humans and elephants living together are apparently more acute in Botswana because of the distribution of elephants.


So what is one to do? Botswana, South Africa and other range states allow elephant hunting up to meeting certain quotas. Despite this hunting, elephant populations in most of these countries have been increasing at unprecedented rates since the early 1990s.


The current IUCN Red List classification for the African Elephant is not Endangered but Vulnerable with an increasing population trend: www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details... . “Vulnerable” is a less serious category than “Endangered,” and African elephants are so classified only because of declines in elephant populations in Central and West Africa, as the IUCN explains:


Although elephant populations may at present be declining in parts of their range, major populations in Eastern and Southern Africa, accounting for over two thirds of all known elephants on the continent, have been surveyed, and are currently increasing at an average annual rate of 4.0% per annum (Blanc et al. 2005, 2007). As a result, more than 15,000 elephants are estimated to have been recruited into the population in 2006 and, if current rates of increase continue, the number of elephants born in these populations between 2005 and 2010 will be larger than the currently estimated total number of elephants in Central and West Africa combined. In other words, the magnitude of ongoing increases in Southern and Eastern Africa are likely to outweigh the magnitude of any likely declines in the other two regions.


 


BTW, Solfeggio, I don’t know where you got your figures for King Juan Carlos’ trip, but the prices you list seem very low. One can find online where 7-day bare-bones packages begin at $25,000US--but I doubt that the King got a package where he had to share accommodations with a bunk mate. (I wouldn’t want to share a bunk room with him.)

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2012 - 1:38PM #4
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

Sounds like the WWF has their head up their arse on this one. While many, including me -- a hunter -- might find Safari hunting distasteful on a personal level, there is no denying, it has done much to help conserve and protect African wildlife and habitat.


I'm not much for "conservation" groups that put hare-brained ideology before practical, boots-on-the-ground reality and real solutions.


In terms of bang for the buck (no pun intended), I put the Nature Conservancy near the top of the list of great conservation organizations.

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2012 - 1:42PM #5
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

Jul 21, 2012 -- 11:18PM, solfeggio wrote:


Since the World Wildlife Fund's mission is to protect species and preserve the natural world, it was entirely right for them to sack the King of Spain as their honorary head after his elephant-hunting trip was made public.


It is also perfectly understandable that the Spanish people would be angry when seeing their king enjoying very expensive hunting trips when they are coping with recession and unemployment.


The king's safari cost approximate $8700 a week, with an additional $15,000 charge to kill an elephant.  Then, you have the services of a professional hunter costing a further $2000.


The King - who is nothing more than a figurehead with no real power - earns about $334,000 a year, so he could well afford the expensive hunting trip.


More important than any of this, however, is the fact that the governments of not just Botswana, but also Namibia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa support and encourage safaris and big game hunts, resulting in the killing of millions of animals and contaminating the ecosystems. 


Elephants are killed for their ivory, and the ivory trade is still very profitable, despite the fact that elephant ivory has been banned for twenty years.


And all this is happening despite the fact that elephants are an endangered species.


 


 




Solf,


I hate to bust your bubble here, but all that money poured in from trophy Safari hunts helps those governments preserve elephant habitat and hire, train and equip the game wardens needed to protect elephants from illegal poachers.


Apply a little bit of logic here. If a animal species becomes worth millions, then the local government and native poplation has a vested interest in its preservation.


I suggest you write a letter of thanks to the King and other Safari hunters for that.

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 24, 2012 - 12:24AM #6
solfeggio
Posts: 9,215

Well, mytmouse, I know that no matter what the topic might be, if it has anything whatsoever to do with the sport of hunting for pleasure (which is what all hunting is, of course), then you will support it.  It doesn't matter what is being hunted, or why the person is doing the hunting.  You're all for it.


The problem is that, even though the ivory trade has been outlawed, elephants are still being poached for their tusks, and hunted in that murderous activity known as 'sport.'  As well, humans are encroaching on their habitat in a big way.


www.environmentalgraffiti.com/animals/ne...


www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/08...


www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37167109/ns/world_n...


www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/15197...


ecological-problems.blogspot.co.nz/2010/...


Because of hunting and poaching and habitat loss, less than 1% of the original population of African elephants remain.


www.bagheera.com/inthewild/van_anim_elep...


The last thing Africa needs is more hunters.  Hunting safari outfitters do not provide economic benefits to either the local people or the elephants themselves.


www.globalanimal.org/2011/09/03/u-s-cour...


Killing any animal for no other reason than just because you can is bad enough, but to kill because you think of yourself as the 'mighty hunter' is disgusting and morally reprehensible.


 

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 24, 2012 - 12:53PM #7
mindis1
Posts: 7,783

Jul 23, 2012 -- 1:42PM, mytmouse57 wrote:


. . . all that money poured in from trophy Safari hunts helps those governments preserve elephant habitat and hire, train and equip the game wardens needed to protect elephants from illegal poachers.



No, most of the money spent on such hunts go to private businesses. There are export fees (if one actually kills an elephant) and trivial amounts for certain permits, but other than that the government makes no more from someone on an elephant-hunting trip than it makes from a someone on a non-hunting safari.


Moreover, the elephant culling performed by park personnel in Kruger was usually done in a quite different manner than hunters who shoot elephants. In the first place, park personnel generally knew which elephants were prone to violence, and avoided disrupting group structures (breaking up a group commonly produces worse violence as members re-group). One method park personnel began to use was to quietly dart a specific individual from a helicopter, separate him off from the rest of the group, and shoot him when he was unconscious and away from the group. Tourist-hunters do not and cannot engage in such considerations.

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 24, 2012 - 1:00PM #8
mindis1
Posts: 7,783

Jul 23, 2012 -- 1:01PM, mindis1 wrote:


So what is one to do? 



So, Solfeggio, you have no suggestions about to deal with the problems of elephant overpopulation in the Southern and Eastern range states? Or how to deal with the problems the occur from humans and elephants trying to live together?


Apparently I ask hard questions (thanks to David Chalmers for pointing out the beauty of hard questions). But it is the hard questions that are most informative in seeking answers to. Hard questions defy easy answers. Hard questions expose the futility and deceptiveness of shallow inflexible ideologies.




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2 years ago  ::  Jul 24, 2012 - 1:52PM #9
christine3
Posts: 7,129

Jul 24, 2012 -- 1:00PM, mindis1 wrote:

So, Solfeggio, you have no suggestions about to deal with the problems of elephant overpopulation in the Southern and Eastern range states? Or how to deal with the problems the occur from humans and elephants trying to live together?




I doubt if you can honestly say the statements we hear about elephant over-population are true.  It is apparent to me that everything can be lied about today to confuse people, and that includes all information on any matter.


What is called elephant "over-population" may be more correctly the case of human populations encroaching on elephant habitat so that elephants are often reported running through towns ransacking them.  Instead of doing the smart thing, relocating the entire herd to a less populated area, they call for killing.  If there is a pocket of more elephants in an area, it is mostly due to human error, not elephant error.  Then later the humans will be forced to set up elephant sanctuaries to save them, again employing more people.  It is premeditated economic robbing of Peter to pay Paul.


Due to droughts in elephant country, I doubt if there is really over-population.  That's my feeling.  


But here's the scenario:  Claiming elephant overpopulation is going to create a myth.  Rich people will employ entourages for their killing trips to elephant country, why? Oh, something to do to distract the rich from their otherwise boring lives.  Could be as stupid as that.  Their rationale...they are helping the economy by giving people jobs that would otherwise not have them.


The most disgusting thing about this is, third world country's poverty is often caused by other countries exploitations of them in the first place.


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2 years ago  ::  Jul 24, 2012 - 3:51PM #10
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

Jul 24, 2012 -- 12:24AM, solfeggio wrote:


Well, mytmouse, I know that no matter what the topic might be, if it has anything whatsoever to do with the sport of hunting for pleasure (which is what all hunting is, of course), then you will support it.  It doesn't matter what is being hunted, or why the person is doing the hunting.  You're all for it.


The problem is that, even though the ivory trade has been outlawed, elephants are still being poached for their tusks, and hunted in that murderous activity known as 'sport.'  As well, humans are encroaching on their habitat in a big way.


www.environmentalgraffiti.com/animals/ne...


www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/08...


www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37167109/ns/world_n...


www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/15197...


ecological-problems.blogspot.co.nz/2010/...


Because of hunting and poaching and habitat loss, less than 1% of the original population of African elephants remain.


www.bagheera.com/inthewild/van_anim_elep...


The last thing Africa needs is more hunters.  Hunting safari outfitters do not provide economic benefits to either the local people or the elephants themselves.


www.globalanimal.org/2011/09/03/u-s-cour...


Killing any animal for no other reason than just because you can is bad enough, but to kill because you think of yourself as the 'mighty hunter' is disgusting and morally reprehensible.


 




Solf, you need to pay better attention to what I say.


I clearly stated, even as a hunter myself, I'm not a fan of Safari hunting.


Also, you're glossing things over. "Because of hunting and poaching" is a pretty broad statement.


Yes, historically, when African big game (just like North American big game) was over-hunted, that caused some serious problems. But, you're trying to apply the 1880s to today. 


Regulated hunting of today is a far cry from the 19th century free-for-alls that really did deplete wildlife populations. 


And illegal poaching is another thing entirely.


Again, it is because of hunters' dollars that elephants get protection from poachers. 


You should write them a thank you letter. 

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