Ban exports of hunting trophies
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Trophy hunting is the hunting of wild animals for recreation. Usually, this involves large or otherwise distinguished animals, such as large carnivores, or species with large antlers. The animal, or part of it, is kept by the hunter, often for display. Some trophy hunting provides financial support to local communities or conservation, through locally levied fees (Minin et al. 2016). However, permitting exports of hunting trophies (often from developing countries to developed countries) may provide incentives for hunting at unsustainable levels (Lindsey et al. 2016) or may provide a route for importing illegally hunted trophies. Bans on trophy hunting exports are designed to remove this incentive and, hence, reduce incentives for the hunting of relevant species.
Lindsey P.A., Balme G.A., Funston P.F., Henschel P.H & Hunter L.T.B. (2016) Life after Cecil: channelling global outrage into funding for conservation in Africa. Conservation Letters, 9, 296–301.
Minin E.D., Leader-Williams N. & Bradshaw C.J.A. (2016) Banning trophy hunting will exacerbate biodiversity loss. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 31, 99–102.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A before-and-after study in 2000–2014 along a river within and around Faro National Park, Cameroon (Scholte et al. 2017) found similar numbers of hippopotamuses Hippopotamus amphibious before and after a ban on exporting of hippopotamus hunting trophies. Results were not tested for statistical significance. Two years after a ban on exporting hippopotamus hunting trophies, 685 hippopotamuses were counted, compared with 647 hippopotamuses counted 12 years before the ban and 525 counted four years before the ban. CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) suspended exports of hippopotamus trophies from Cameroon in 2012. In March 2014, hippopotamuses were counted over three days in the dry season, along 97 km of the Faro River. Animals were counted between 07:30 and 17:30 h, by two teams of 2–3 observers. Observers walked through the riverbed at a speed of 1–4 km/hour. Similar counting methods were used in 2000 and 2008 (twelve and four years before the ban respectively) but precise details are not given.Study and other actions tested