The Zambian Wildlife Ranching Industry: Scale, Associated Benefits, and Limitations Affecting Its DevelopmentReport as inadecuate




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The number and area of wildlife ranches in Zambia increased from 30 and 1,420 km2 in 1997 to 177 and ∼6,000 km2 by 2012. Wild ungulate populations on wildlife ranches increased from 21,000 individuals in 1997 to ∼91,000 in 2012, while those in state protected areas declined steeply. Wildlife ranching and crocodile farming have a turnover of ∼USD15.7 million per annum, compared to USD16 million from the public game management areas which encompass an area 29 times larger. The wildlife ranching industry employs 1,200 people excluding jobs created in support industries, with a further ∼1,000 individuals employed through crocodile farming. Wildlife ranches generate significant quantities of meat 295,000 kg-annum, of which 30,000 kg of meat accrues to local communities and 36,000 kg to staff. Projected economic returns from wildlife ranching ventures are high, with an estimated 20-year economic rate of return of 28%, indicating a strong case for government support for the sector. There is enormous scope for wildlife ranching in Zambia due to the availability of land, high diversity of wildlife and low potential for commercial livestock production. However, the Zambian wildlife ranching industry is small and following completion of field work for this study, there was evidence of a significant proportion of ranchers dropping out. The industry is performing poorly, due to inter alia: rampant commercial bushmeat poaching; failure of government to allocate outright ownership of wildlife to landowners; bureaucratic hurdles; perceived historical lack of support from the Zambia Wildlife Authority and government; a lack of a clear policy on wildlife ranching; and a ban on hunting on unfenced lands including game ranches. For the wildlife ranching industry to develop, these limitations need to be addressed decisively. These findings are likely to apply to other savanna countries with large areas of marginal land potentially suited to wildlife ranching.



Author: Peter A. Lindsey , Jonathan Barnes, Vincent Nyirenda, Belinda Pumfrett, Craig J. Tambling, W. Andrew Taylor, Michael t’Sas Rolf

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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