Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 11, Issue 8, pp 1403-1416

First online:

Wildlife harvesting guidelines for community-based wildlife management: a southern African perspective

  • Johan T. Du ToitAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Mammal Research Institute

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African wildlife populations and their habitats are dwindling outside ofstate-protected areas due to escalating human demands on natural resources,while the effective enforcement of conservation legislation is impracticableacross most of the continent. A particular conservation crisis is looming insouthern Africa, where extensive wildlife areas are rapidly giving way tosubsistence agropastoralism. The concept of community-based wildlife management(CBWM) has been embraced by donor agencies as a hopeful solution in areas whereadequate wildlife resources persist and agricultural potential is marginal. Theconservation value of CBWM depends, however, on communities having specificinformation to evaluate the sustainable benefits of wildlife in comparison withalternative landuse options. Furthermore, simple but scientifically soundmonitoring procedures are required to ensure that the offtake from wildlifepopulations is kept within sustainable limits. This paper draws together keyecological issues of relevance to CBWM in southern African savannas andidentifies topics requiring further attention from ecologists. The aim is toassist conservation and development agencies in providing prompt and appropriatetechnical support to communities in areas where opportunities for CBWM stillexist but could soon be foreclosed.

Community-based conservation Savanna ecology Sustainable use