An 18-month national study on wildlife ranching in South Africa by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), found that wildlife farming as a whole benefited biodiversity in South Africa.There are 8,979 private wildlife ranches in South Africa covering 170,419 square kilometers (65,799 square miles), EWT said in the study. Hunting generates about 2.6 billion rand ($163 million) in revenue a year, while auctions make 4.3 billion rand and meat production earns about 600 million rand. About 65,000 people work in the industry earning a median salary of 3,441 rand a month.

This excludes temporary employees and people working in associated businesses such as taxidermists, wildlife translocators and fencing.The number of large herbivores on private ranches in SA is estimated at six million animals a ten fold increase since the 60ʼs. This is the complete opposite of the rest of Africa where numbers have plummeted in recent years.The EWT study confirms earlier findings that wildlife ranching in SA is thriving and that the sustainable use of resources contributes valuable conservation, economic and social benefits when it is practised responsibly.

Source EWT/ Bloomberg

Image Robin Taylor