I just hope they continue to do research into alternative methods that are potentially viable
I bet they will. However the "that is to listen to his advisers locally and not to bow to international pressure only" bit is a little incorrect. I noticed no one had found the statements the WWF made, so here are few bits and pieces:
"They are converter animals - habitat engineers - they will modify their habitat if allowed to do so," says Rob Little, director of conservation at World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) South Africa.
South Africa National Parks (Sanparks) has recommended a return to culling to save the country's flora and fauna before it is too late.
"Culling should certainly be retained as an option," says WWF's Mr Little.
WWF has for years been working to establish trans-frontier conservation areas in Africa to help conserve elephant migration corridors, to reduce human-elephant conflict, and to establish community-based natural resource management programmes. The global conservation organization has also helped establish new protected areas at the national level, as well as helped translocate elephants from South Africa to an under-populated trans-border park in Mozambique.
But translocation is expensive and labour-intensive and can only help remove a limited number of “unwanted” elephants — up to only 14 at a time, according to Kruger staff. Translocating one elephant can cost as much as US$8,000. Despite the price tag, many have been taken across the border to Mozambique, but the elephants have raided the crops of communities still living in the area, and some have actually found their way back to their traditional feeding grounds in Kruger — making the whole operation ineffective. Contraception methods have also been employed over the years, but this has proven to be expensive and the park’s veterinarians say it can only stabilize populations, not reduce them.
And on the same page:
WWF has recently supported the IUCN Species Survival Commission African Elephant Specialist Group to produce technical guidelines for the management of local over-population of African elephants. This is expected to be published in early 2007 and will provide park managers and national governments with the information they need to make informed decisions about the options available to them.
Read the whole article
on the WWF site.
A bit more of the same:
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) expressed support for the Government's approach. "I don't believe there's any danger that culling would be undertaken before the use of other management options, such as contraception, translocation and conservation corridors, have been considered," Rob Little, conservation director for WWF South Africa, said on Monday. "Given elephants' ability to transform an entire landscape, action is needed, or the result will be the mass starvation of elephants and other species," he said.
Kruger officials have said that without action, the elephant population will triple to 34,000 by 2020, posing a threat to other animals and vegetation in the Israel-sized reserve. South Africa culled a total of 14,562 elephants between 1967 and 1994. Without that cull, the population would have rocketed by now to 80,000, according to parks chief executive, David Mabunda.
for that bit.
: The photos from our trip! Overhere! Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c