DALLAS — More than 70 major safari operators, hunting industry leaders and top conservationists have pledged to support Dallas Safari Club’s (DSC) newly adopted definition of the ideal huntable male African lion.
The definition reads: “The ideal huntable male lion is at least six years of age and is not known to head a pride or be part of a coalition heading a pride with dependent cubs.”
DSC adopted the position as a way to urge hunters to self-impose harvest restrictions.
Overharvest of young male lions could reduce lion populations overall, posing a real concern to the conservation and scientific management of this iconic species. Furthermore, such reductions in numbers would lead wildlife authorities to reduce quotas.
However, research shows that hunting older male lions has no negative effect on populations. Encouraging lion hunters to be more selective is a DSC conservation move being applauded by biologists and professional hunters across Africa.
“Hunting only non-pride and non-adolescent male lions should be the goal of every responsible hunter and organization with a vested interest in conserving lion populations,” DSC Executive Director Ben Carter said. “We’re encouraged by the broad outpouring of support that we’ve received since announcing the new DSC position just one week ago.”
Supporters are pledging to incorporate the DSC definition into their business and personal practices. To date, the growing list of supporters includes Outdoor Channel’s Jim Shockey and a long list of safari outfitters, and DSC officials expect more pledges of support in coming days.
To further encourage selective hunting, DSC adopted a new club policy: “No DSC member will be eligible for any DSC recognition or trophy award unless the member’s lion trophy submission is a fully mature lion as determined in the sole discretion of the DSC awards committee.”
Carter said, “DSC’s mission, in part, is to promote to the world the success of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Responsible lion hunting, based on the latest science-based wildlife management principles, is a proven essential component of the complex policy formula that will preserve wild African lions and their habitat for future generations.”
For several years, DSC has been funding scientific research on African lions. Understanding lion population dynamics is one of many projects supported by DSC grants to advance conservation, education and hunter advocacy worldwide.About Dallas Safari Club (DSC)
Desert bighorns on an unbroken landscape, stalking Cape buffalo in heavy brush, students discovering conservation. DSC works to guarantee a future for all these and much more. An independent nonprofit organization since 1982, DSC has become an international leader in conserving wildlife and wilderness lands, educating youth and the general public, and promoting and protecting the rights and interests of hunters worldwide. Get involved at www.biggame.org