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EarthXConservation Discussions

  • 1.  EarthXConservation Discussions

    Posted 10-17-2020 15:26
    Edited by Carolyn Appleton 10-17-2020 15:28
    October 17, 2020

    I received an email from EarthX requesting the following: "What is one question you would ask everyone? Or, what is one fact or piece of media that you think everyone should see?"

    I have friends who are hunters. But as far as I know, they are not hunting endangered species. Still, how do we handle hunting in Africa, which is a significant focus for the EarthXConservation symposium online. In fact, society as a whole understands little about hunting and over populated vs. endangered species. Globally, there needs to be some way to address these issues. 

    In Africa, safari companies have an important role to play. They can educate their clients/travelers to the importance of conserving wildlife and habitat in Africa and elsewhere. They can share information on social media to the same ends and to larger audiences. But my sense is overall, little has been done to reach out in a meaningful way to safari entrepreneurs to ask them to hone-down on these things.

    I think China's heavy involvement in Africa needs to be addressed. So far, China hasn't shown much care and concern for wildlife, and animal transmission of deadly diseases to humans in China is an issue that they must address (and are addressing). Some see China as moving toward plant-based food consumption, which I personally believe is a good thing. And hopefully China's thirst for ivory products will continue to go down. America has been focused on making an enemy of China the past four years. For the world to focus more productively on outlining and implementing the best possible policies going forward, we need to reverse course on the negativity between our two nations so America continues to retain a leadership role in these kinds of dialogues.

    Returning to Texas - perhaps not the focus of EarthXConservation but still important - feral hogs are a huge nuisance and their populations are growing dangerously. I think we actually do need to hunt and reduce their numbers. I do recall the late Bunker Sands telling me about his hunting feral hogs and shipping them to China, which considered their meat somewhat of a "wild boar" specialty. But regardless, to protect wildlife habitat in Texas we have to do something, and poison is not necessarily the answer because poison easily gets into the food system and kills other animals that we do not want to harm.

    Carolyn Appleton

  • 2.  RE: EarthXConservation Discussions

    Posted 10-27-2020 09:34
    Hi Carolyn,

    You raise so many great points, and I agree that hunting in Africa is a very interesting and complex topic. You've linked to some great articles in your post. Out of curiosity, how do you keep up with all of the news on this topic? I'm always looking for different sources to keep up with!

    Thanks again for your post!

    Melinda Garde
    Community Engagement, Volunteer Manager

  • 3.  RE: EarthXConservation Discussions

    Posted 12-14-2020 12:48
    December 14, 2020

    Follow-up on the hunting discussion. A professional colleague of mine at the Rob & Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation helped create this online course at Purdue University. Read more, "New online course from Purdue focuses on hunting's role in wildlife management and conservation" (October 7, 2020). It is being offered via the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources in partnership with Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow and the Max McGraw Foundation.

    Carolyn Appleton
    Austin TX