Abstract: Tourist hunting is a regular consumptive wildlife utilization occurring within and outside core protected areas for trophies and leisure attainments. It is one of the most renowned tourism undertakings which involve the killing of animals for recreational purposes. In essence, hunters acquire trophies for different purposes including production of decorations and traditional medicines. Currently, there is a hot debate on whether to continues or cease tourist hunting as animal activists, some conservation stakeholders believe that hunting is cruel to animals and threat to ecosystems. In this paper, the author reviewed and analyzed various documented evidences which opponents and proponents of the debate published to conclude whether the consequences of trophy hunting are real or overstated. Better understanding of those consequences becomes necessary as it helps stakeholders understand whether tourist hunting is fair or unfair. Tourist hunting may cause constructive and destructive consequences on environment and socio-economic livelihoods which however depend on type of hunted species, age, sex of hunted animal, season of hunting and hunting methods. It may cause species extinction, disrupts the population structure of hunted species, emissions of greenhouse gases, production of recyclable and unrecyclable wastes, change of animal behaviors and overhunting. In short, the overhunting of wildlife resources due to trophy hunting might be less or equal to the wildlife overharvesting caused by poaching, wildlife trafficking and capturing of wildlife to supplement zoological gardens. According to studies, tourist hunting seems to have less destructions than other forms of tourist activities and wildlife utilizations as many conservation agencies have well described policies and laws to regulate tourist hunting operations. Debaters confuse between tourist hunting and poaching. Tourist hunting is the legal killing of animal to obtain certain part of an animal by following specified hunting regulations while poaching is the capturing or killing and animal for either a part of the entire animal with or without the valid hunting license. A hunter with a valid trophy hunting license violating any of hunting regulations including with prohibited hunting gears, or hunting off season, or hunting more animals than specified in the license, or animal of different sex or age, such a tourist hunter turns into a poacher.
Keywords: traditional hunting; trophy hunting, resident hunting.
By: Abel Ansporthy Mamboleo