A Dallas Safari Club auction has raised $350,000 for rhino conservation efforts in Namibia.
All proceeds—100 percent—will go into a special fund used by the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism for anti-poaching patrols, habitat protection, research and other measures crucial for protecting populations of endangered black rhinos.
The auctioned item is a hunting permit for a black rhino in Namibia’s Mangetti National Park.
Science shows that selective hunting helps rhino populations grow. Removing old, post-breeding bulls, which are territorial, aggressive and often kill younger, breeding bulls, cows and even calves, increases survival and productivity in a herd. With hunting as part of its conservation program, Namibia’s rhino population is growing as much as five percent annually.
The auction and hunt are endorsed by three global wildlife authorities: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, IUCN (affiliated with the United Nations) and CITES (an international treaty to protect endangered species).
Namibia is authorized to issue a limited number of rhino-hunting permits each year, and has previously auctioned permits only within its own borders. The previous high was $223,000.
“Biologists in Namibia were hopeful that a U.S.-based auction would produce a record amount for rhino conservation, and that’s exactly what happened. We were honored to be asked to help and we’re pleased with the results,” said Ben Carter, DSC executive director. “I’m proud of our organization for taking a stand to help ensure the future of an iconic species.”
To ensure the correct type of animal is taken, Namibian wildlife officials will accompany the hunter. If the hunt is successful, meat from the animal will feed a nearby community.