Article on impact of trophy hunting in Cameroon published in Journal Biological Conservation
Recently an article was published by Croes et al., covering the impact of trophy hunting on lions in north Cameroon. The publication is based on work by a research group of Leiden University, CEDC, Ecole de Faune Garoua and University of Dschang, in collaboration with the Department of Nature Conservation of Tschwane University in Pretoria, SA, the Painted Dog Conservation, Zimbabwe, and the Ministry of Forest and Wildlife (MINFOF), Cameroon.
The article suggests that in West andCentral Africalarge carnivores have become increasingly rare as a consequence of rapid habitat destruction and lack of resources for protected area management. Three years of research covered the Bénoué Complex (23,394 km²) in northern Cameroon, which is a regionally critical area for large mammal conservation. In the complex lions(Panthera leo), leopards (Panthera pardus) and spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) are formally protected in three national parks and 28 hunting zones. Over-hunting may be having a strong additive effect precipitating declines in large carnivore numbers across the complex. The research group used a coarse level track index method to estimate the relative abundance of these three species both in hunting zones and national parks. The results were interpreted with respect to ungulate abundance, and hunting impact. There was no significant difference between the densities of medium to larger species of ungulates in the hunting zones and the national parks, and no difference in leopard and spotted hyena densities in the respective areas.
However, lions occurred at significantly lower densities in the hunting zones, and even in the national parks occurred at significantly lower densities than prey biomass would predict. The researchers suggest that a moratorium on lion hunting is urgently needed to allow lion populations to recover.
The article can be downloaded here