Accurate data crucial for hunting industry
According to the Namibia Professional Hunting Association (Napha), the importance of comprehensive and accurate reporting in the hunting industry is critical for sustaining a balance between conservation and hunting.
Napha said detailed reporting includes both annual returns to the tourism ministry and specific cases of animals shot on farms due to human-wildlife conflict.
Napha said annual hunting returns, which are due by 30 November each year, play a critical role in the sustainable management of hunting activities.
“These reports are a clear economic picture of the hunting industry’s contribution to Namibia’s GDP.”
The ministry has stressed the importance of accurately completing these returns and attaching a price list or brochure to them.
“This information, while kept confidential within the ministry, is used for statistical analysis to gauge the hunting sector’s impact on the nation,” Napha explained.
It said the issues arising from incorrect or unfinished submissions are considerable. A great deal of effort is needed to correct and confirm financial figures, which results in holdups in gathering important statistics.
“This in turn has an impact on making timely and informed policy choices and hampers the hunting industry’s capacity to efficiently address conservation-related issues and seize related opportunities.”
Napha said the topic of leopards killing livestock represents a sensitive aspect of wildlife management in Namibia.
It said recognising the legality of shooting leopards as a protective measure against livestock predation, the country mandates the reporting of such incidents.
“This is crucial for gaining a comprehensive understanding of leopards and human-wildlife conflicts.”
Napha said hunters and landowners are encouraged to report incidents directly to the ministry. Reports should include the location of the incident, the reason for the incident, and the leopard’s estimated age and sex.
This data is valuable for mapping leopard populations and informing future conservation strategies.
It said the information gathered from these specific leopard reports might play a significant role in determining leopard tag distribution in the future.
“By identifying regions with higher leopard populations and areas with frequent conflicts, the ministry could allocate tags in a way that balances conservation needs with local community requirements.”
It said accurate annual returns, complemented with price lists and brochures, along with leopard incident reports, equip the ministry with the necessary data to make informed decisions.
These practices ensure that Namibia continues to lead in balancing the economic benefits of hunting with conservation, exemplifying a sustainable approach to natural resource utilisation.