Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More rhino support

In writing positive things about the Texas hunting club's auction to hunt a black rhino in Namibia, I've felt like an endangered creature myself, wandering the plains without ever seeing another member of my own species.

Imagine my joy to see a piece by science writer Richard Conniff in the New York Times agreeing with all my major points. It's a magical moment:

Protecting wildlife is a complicated, expensive and morally imperfect enterprise, often facing insuperable odds... But so far nothing else matches trophy hunting for paying the bills. For people outraged by this hunt, here’s a better way to deal with it: Go to Namibia. Visit the conservancies, spend your money and have one of the great wildlife experiences of your life. You will see that this country is doing grand, ambitious things for conservation. And you may come away wondering whether Americans, who struggle to live with species as treacherous as, say, the prairie dog, should really be telling Namibians how to run their wildlife.

Despite what a recent UK Spectator column recently said, education is not the only way to save the black rhino. Incentives are doing a far better job.

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