SONGS
ADVERTISE
Advertise with us:
R10 000 pm VAT excl.

Wildlife matters

BACK
HOME » Wildlife » Wildlife matters

Economics of the wildlife industry

2 August 2013

The wildlife industry in southern Africa only really developed after the granting of conditional private ownership of wildlife to landowners through the Game Theft Act (Act 105 of 1991 as amended by Act 18 of 1996 and Act 62 of 2000). It is now providing an economically viable alternative form of land-use to livestock production on mostly marginal agricultural land. This switch is generally regarded as one of the greatest recent agricultural transformations in southern Africa. There are three basic enterprises: mixed livestock and wildlife production, intensive and extensive wildlife production. The wildlife industry contributed R7.7 billion (9.8 per cent) to South Africa’s Agricultural Gross Domestic Product in 2010. Recreational and trophy hunting, tourism, live wildlife sales, wildlife capture and translocation, taxidermy and meat production are the main enterprises. Currently, some 20.5 million ha supports an estimated 2.5 to 18 million head of wildlife on 10 000 or more wildlife ranches in South Africa. The wildlife industry is contributing significantly to job creation and, especially in Namibia, to the economic development of communal, rural communities by way of conservancies. The initial conservation approach has, however, now been replaced by one of pure financial gain.

The economics of the wildlife industry is still poorly documented, but based on the historical trends on the formal live, wildlife auctions it initially prospered on the back of economic and ecological advantages by producing smaller, common wildlife on large and largely fenced wildlife ranches. The output prices for these animals started to stagnate in 2000 and, this at first spurred a shift to breeding higher-value, rare, indigenous wildlife and currently to producing exotic colour and morphological variants which is currently driving the wildlife industry. Nevertheless, few, if any, other countries have such a large wildlife resource under the protection of private landowners as South Africa.

The Limpopo province in South Africa has almost half the wildlife ranches of South Africa. Other provinces with numerous wildlife ranches are the Northern Cape, North West and the Eastern Cape, with the largest wildlife ranches in the Northern Cape. The sustainable use of wildlife resources through hunting is a backbone of conservation and in 2010 it contributed approximately R1.1 billion to the South African economy. Hunting is a major source of income for the wildlife industry and the increase in the wildlife population in South Africa has led to many new trophy records there in the past three decades. Most of the trophy hunters prefer to be quoted a fixed price per animal shot when hunting but some prefer a fixed all-inclusive hunting fee.

Extensive wildlife production is expensive and capital-intensive and the cost of land alone forms around 33 per cent of the total investment required. When the quality and traditional source of red meat from livestock is beyond suspicion, larger wild herbivores cannot compete with domesticated herbivores on a kg of meat produced per animal basis. However, the main advantage of wildlife production lies in the diversity of its products and enterprises. For wildlife, trophy hunting yields the highest gross income per kg of wildlife cropped in the Limpopo province. The more common antelope are mainly being hunted for their meat... (To read and see more become a Green subscriber)

 

References:

Anon. 2002. Game Theft Act No. 105 of 1001 as amended in Act 18 of 1996 and Act 62 of 2000. Government Gazette 23548: 1463-1467.

Bothma, J du P, H J Sartorius von Bach & P C Cloete. In prep. Economics of the wildlife industry in southern Africa. In J du P Bothma & J G du Toit (Eds), Game ranch management, 6th edition. Pretoria: Van Schaik.

Cloete, F. 2013. Tendense van lewendewild verkope 2012. Game & Hunt 19(2):51-55.

By: Prof J du P Bothma

 

Click here to buy music, videos and images
SONGS
ADVERTISE
Advertise with us:
R10 000 pm VAT excl.