Conservation News

The SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association has launched a vulture conservation project, The Vulture Heritage Programme, as part of its ongoing commitment to conserve South Africa’s wildlife heritage.


Vultures provide critically important ecosystem services by cleaning up carcasses and reducing the risk of the spread of diseases, resulting in economic and health benefits to people. However, worldwide, vultures are among the most threatened group of birds with most species declining and many facing extinction. The ongoing decline of the six vulture species found in South Africa is alarming. Persecution, electrocution, poisoning, and illegal trade in vulture body parts for use in traditional medicine are some of the main reasons for this negative trend.


Minister Barbara Creecy released the High-Level Panel (HLP) report on the management, breeding, hunting, trade and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros on Sunday 2 May 2021.  Besides providing specific interventions to resolve key issues in the sector, the report also provides for a re-conceptualised wildlife sector, that will provide a new deal for people and wildlife in South Africa, with a focus on thriving wild and wild managed wildlife populations. SA Hunters made specific inputs to the work of the Panel as part of the stakeholder engagement process.

Study urges the use of leg bands for marking individuals instead of wing tags

Conservationists who apply wing tags for identifying Cape Vultures—a species of African vulture that is vulnerable to extinction—are putting the birds’ lives further at risk, a new movement ecology study has shown. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Germany and VulPro NPC in South Africa have demonstrated that Cape Vultures fitted with tags on their wings travelled shorter distances and flew slower than those fitted with bands around their legs. The research emphasises the importance of investigating the effects that tagging methods can have on the behaviour and conservation of species, prompting a shift towards the less invasive method of leg bands in the future study of Cape Vultures.

Development and implementation of a voluntary, market-based Wildlife Economy Certification Scheme

Draft Concept Note and Roadmap - 30 November 2020

1.    Introduction

The Wildlife Economy is underpinned by complex and multi-faceted agro-ecological farming systems. The primary objective of the wildlife rancher is to run a profitable enterprise across a range of four broad types of activities: 1) game ranching and live sales; 2) hunting (trophy and biltong); 3) game products (including game meat production) and 4) ecotourism. Wildlife ranches are managed along a continuum from more intensive to extensive systems, with some production units also including other agricultural practices and land uses. Open ranched lands may also have wildlife areas with free ranging wildlife populations.


The exceptional biodiversity of South Africa provides a wide range of benefits to the country’s economy, society and human well-being. The sustained benefit flows that nature provides are dependent on functioning ecosystems, healthy species populations and high genetic diversity.

South Africa saw a marked decline in rhino poaching during 2020, with the killing of rhino declining by 33%.

“While the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the battle to beat the Covid-19 pandemic contributed in part to the decrease in rhino poaching in 2020, the role of rangers and security personnel who remained at their posts, and the additional steps taken by government to effectively deal with these and related offences, also played a significant role,” said Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy.

During the various Lockdown Alert Levels in 2020, the movement of alleged poachers and rhino horn smugglers had been curtailed.  Alongside this, the steps to address rhino poaching and wildlife crime across the country had been aligned to both the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros and the principles set out in the draft National Integrated Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking (NISCWT).

Wildlife Conservation received funding to conduct research and produce the inaugural State of the Wildlife Economy in Africa Report to illustrate the current and potential value of wildlife to economies in Africa and through this to encourage investment in this important economic asset.

The report development process highlighted data gaps that should encourage the collection of robust data related to wildlife economies in order to understand better the vast contribution of wildlife resources to local, national and regional economies.

As ‘n lid van die  IUCN, het die Vereniging bygedra tot voorstelle aan Minister Creecy om ekonomiese herstel post-Covid-19 te bevorder, deur ‘n gesonde en produktiewe omgewing te verseker.


Die rol van wildlewe  gebasseerde toerisme is beklemtoon en daar is gemotiveer dat dit ‘n toelaatbare aktiwiteit word op vlak 3 van inperking, gegewe spesifieke voorwaardes. Die dringendheid van ‘n nasionale wildsvleis strategy is ook beklemtoon. Verskeie ander voorstelle is ook gemaak ter bevordering van die wildlewe ekonomie.


Die Vereniging werk onverpoosd voort om die belange van ons lede en die omgewing voor op te stel gedurende die Covid-19 pandemie. Met die wêreldwye impak van Covid-19, is daar druk van verskeie oorde om alle handel in wildlewe produkte te stop. Dit is egter ondeurdag en kan wesenlike onverwagte negatiewe impakte hê vir natuurlewe en veral kwesbare landelike mense.


SA Jagters en Wildbewaringsvereniging ondersteun ‘n ge-integreerde en holistiese benadering tot die probleem en heelwat meer werk is benodig voordat ons ingeligte langtermyn strategië kan voorstel. Vir die rede, ondersteun SAJWV hierdie ope brief aan die Wêreld Gesondheidsorganisasie en die United Nations Environmental Programme

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