Last update: 09-Dec-2013 1:43 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Better management needed for hunting
Hunting is an age old tradition which has been passed on from generation to generation. It is about culture, custom, conservation and a way of life that many so choose for a number of varying reasons, such as religious, socialisation, sporting and camaraderie. It is the method used for harvesting one of our natural resources—our indigenous game species. Unlike many species that we kill on a daily basis by the thousands, the wild animals do have a 50-50 chance of escaping the hunt. After hearing members of the Forestry Division deliver their findings at a seminar held by the South Eastern Hunters’ Association, data collected indicated that the carrying capacity of the game species was in no way under threat of any kind and, due to the contradicting report from the Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Ganga Singh, I am now prompted to ask of him these questions:
For years administration after administration has been saying save the pawi, save the ocelot and other endangered wildlife with nothing implemented other than posters being erected.
1. Has any scientific survey been conducted on the status of the game species hunted? And if so where and when was this conducted and where is the data to support these findings?
2. If we are so concerned with the proper management of the wildlife population, why is a moratorium on hunting the only means that is seen fit to manage the said population?
3. We will continue to ask where do the proceeds from the sale of hunting permits go? Does it go towards research on indigenous wildlife? Does it go to re-establish lost habitat or create new habitat? Does it go towards hiring more game wardens or rangers to enforce the laws? Do we trap and GPS-tag the animals to see what the breeding percentage for the year is, to see the mortality rate, or the range occupied?
4. Was any consideration given to members of the rural community who depend on wild meat as a means of income and personal food supply? What about the numerous businesses and their personnel who depend on the hunters who contribute significantly through the sales of pet supplies, groceries, camping and hunting equipment, etc?
Very little attention and resources have been allocated to our indigenous neo-tropical animals. We are not in support of stock depletion, however, one must remember that hunters are the people in the forests who have a vested interest in ensuring that animal numbers are high. We are the ones who bring back the data, not the Forestry Division! In conclusion, hunting is conservation and with this in mind, we feel the season should not be closed and other means of management should be considered in order to ensure our lasting natural resources.
Santa Cruz Hunting Association
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