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YOUR conservation - OUR FOCUS

SA Hunters is a voluntary membership organisation that represents the interests of citizen hunters, wildlife custodians, firearm owners and sport shottists. It was established in 1949 to promote conservation of game species and wildlife habitats, and responsible hunting.

Through service excellence, SA Hunters has grown to a membership of more than 40,000 members represented in about 80 branches throughout the country. The Association harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its members to promote an integrated and sensible approach to biodiversity conservation and responsible wildlife use, mindful of its role as a cornerstone for human well-being and sustainable use.

Conservation focus

The Association underwrites and bases its conservation policy on the content and context of the IUCN World Conservation Strategy, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the national environmental management legal framework. Our focus is conservation of wildlife habitats and associated free-range wildlife populations through responsible wildlife management and responsible utilisation in line with conservation and sustainable use principles.

National policy processes and forums

SA Hunters cooperates constructively with government and relevant role players to facilitate the development of an enabling policy and legal framework that promotes private sector participation in biodiversity conservation and responsible growth of the wildlife economy.

We serve on the following national forums and working groups:

  • National Wildlife Forum: engagement with the ministry on matters affecting the wildlife sector
  • National Wildlife Poison Prevention Working Group: reducing the risks of wildlife poisoning incidents
  • National Lead Task Team: reducing risks of wildlife being harmed by lead products
  • National Vulture Task Force: promoting an integrated approach to vulture conservation and developing appropriate biodiversity management plans
  • Sungazer Working Group: promoting sungazer conservation in SA
  • Predation Management South Africa (PMSA) is a multi-sectoral platform for liaison and coordination of activities of commodity organisations in the livestock and wildlife ranching sectors. Its aim is to use ecologically and ethically acceptable methods to reduce or minimise stock losses caused by predation. Read the PMSA newsletters here.
  • National Lion Working Group: promoting conservation of stable, viable, and ecologically functional populations of wild and managed wild lions
  • Cycad Working Group: promoting conservation of indigenous cycads
  • Provincial Wildlife Forums: engaging with provincial conservation agencies
  • National IUCN Steering Committee

Conservation Programmes

Vulture Heritage

Vultures are among the most threatened group of birds with persecution, electrocution, poisoning, and illegal trade in vulture body parts identified as some of the main reasons for declining numbers. Gen. De La Rey branch supports the management of a vulture restaurant near Lichtenburg.

Poisoned and electrocuted vultures are collected and cared for in collaboration with the Vulpro Rehabilitation Centre. We collaborate with landowners to secure larger areas that are safe for vultures by registering vulture heritage sites. Members capture vulture sightings on the Wildlife Sightings APP.

The aim of this programme is to collaborate with other relevant role players in contributing towards:

  • safe vulture restaurants that are responsibly managed
  • capturing vulture sightings that can contribute to their conservation
  • raising awareness among members and the public about the risks to vultures and the needs to conserve them
  • rehabilitation of injured or poisoned vultures
  • conservation of the habitats where vultures feed, rest or breed

National Wildlife Poison Prevention Working Group

National Vulture Task Force

Anti-poaching

SA Hunters is committed to reduce the incidents and impacts of wildlife poaching on wildlife custodians, wildlife populations, and the environment.

This is done through:

  • launching of specific anti-poaching initiatives that combat poaching, especially in areas that may not receive sufficient government support, in particular in support of wildlife custodians
  • gathering data that can contribute to reducing poaching through various means
  • contribute information to reduce response time and improve effectiveness of law enforcement
  • establish and support effective networks and partnerships for improved cooperation and synergy between relevant role-players
  • contribute to specific relevant interventions in support of anti-poaching and species survival
  • where necessary and possible, provide input and support for better and more effective legislation, policy, prosecution and legal processes
  • educate and raise awareness of the nature and extent of poaching, its negative impacts and potential solutions
  • facilitate sustainable funding for anti-poaching operations

Conservation Initiatives

Members of SA Hunters are outdoor enthusiasts that enjoy spending time in nature and observing wildlife. Capturing, recording, and sharing wildlife sightings is a favourite pastime that comes naturally. As citizen scientists, our members collect and provide valuable information on rare and elusive species in real-time, which contributes to conservation programmes.

SA Hunters has an App that members can download on their mobile phones to capture and record their sightings, which are fed directly into a national database that is used for legitimate conservation initiatives.

Members of SA Hunters are outdoor enthusiasts that enjoy spending time in nature and observing wildlife. Capturing, recording, and sharing wildlife sightings is a favourite pastime that comes naturally. As citizen scientists, our members collect and provide valuable information on rare and elusive species in real-time, which contributes to conservation programmes.

SA Hunters has an App that members can download on their mobile phones to capture and record their sightings, which are fed directly into a national database that is used for legitimate conservation initiatives.

The Pretoria East Branch is involved in cheetah conservation through re-introduction initiatives, funding of temporary holding facilities, and sponsoring radio collars for monitoring.

Nasionale Jagluiperdopname

SA Jagters ondersteun die nasionale jagluiperdopname wat nou in die tweede jaar is. Twee universiteite, die Cheetah Trust en Ashia lei hierdie opname.

Data wat lede verskaf, help ons om te verstaan wat die huidige verspreiding van vrylopende jagluiperds is, hoe dit oor tyd verander, hoeveel jagluiperds in seker areas waargeneem word en hoe gereeld, asook wat die impak is wat hierdie diere op wild en vee het.

Read more here

South Africa’s freshwater biodiversity is under increasing pressure from climate change, overexploitation, pollution, and invasive species. This can have serious adverse consequences for ecosystem services, such as the provision of food and safe drinking water.

The primary purpose of the Water-for-Life initiative is to raise awareness among members and the general public on the condition of freshwater resources in South Africa.

Bees are part of the biodiversity on which we all depend for our survival. Bees pollinate our plants, which is an essential function in the reproduction of plants and crops that humans eat. Agricultural pesticides pose an enormous threat to the survival of bees. Honeybees never sleep. An average hive has 50,000 to 60,000 worker bees.

Beekeeping is one way in which humans can protect bees. It also provides an important source of income for many rural livelihoods. For this reason, SA Hunters has embarked on a conservation initiative that has proven to be a valuable win-win project for bees and for people.

We are borrowing nature from the youth. We must empower them to take care of the environment so that they can have a green legacy to leave behind. To take proper care of something, one needs to understand it. Therefore, it is crucial that we engage with the youth and involve them in activities in nature, teach them to understand the natural world they depend on, and become stewards protecting it into the future.

There are many free ranging wildlife species for which very limited information is available. Some of these species are under threat, but because they occur naturally in wildlife landscapes and are difficult to monitor, information on their real status may be limited. National surveys are difficult and conservation interventions are challenging as we often do not know where in the landscape they occur, what their densities are, or there is no contact with landowners or wildlife managers that manage their habitats. Therefore, accurate distribution, population data and trends are unavailable.

SA Hunters’ members are an integral part of their communities where they establish close connections with business and landowners where they hunt or conduct other activities. It comes as no surprise that SA Hunters’ branches reach out to communities in need and provide whatever support might be required.

There are numerous examples where branches extended a helping hand to people, their livestock, and even wildlife in areas such as Sutherland that suffered from prolonged drought. Branch members rely in on the generosity and compassion of their own communities to collect donations to bring relief to those in need.

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