This whole brouhaha over Cecile the lion got me thinking.
Do you really want to actually save the species or just yell at hunters and make yourself feel superior? If you really want to save them, a very simple and nearly fool-proof solution is available for most of them their for most of them.
HUMAN SELF INTEREST.
Once you tie human self interest directly the survival of a species, that species is guaranteed to thrive.
Look at the American Bison. It was nearly wiped-out by the start of the 20th century… but now they are making a come back. WHY? Because people make money off their existence… we eat them… we want to watch them… etc etc etc…
I heard about programs like this in Africa back in the late 90s but I can find nothing about them now. The local villages would “claim” a heard of elephants, and the government let them profit from running the tours and such. It gave the Villages a source of income where they had none, AND it gave the villagers a strong motivation to protect the herd… it was their income source… so poachers lives got a LOT more CHANCY.
I’m guessing all the tyrannical governments in that region shut it down because they wanted to keep the villages poor and under their thumbs… but I can see no logical reason the system would not work.
Why not do this everywhere? Let the villages in these third world countries run wild life tours, and keep the money… then see how many animals get poached.
Right now, none of these big conservancy organizations can pay anyone enough to be immune from bribes to look the other way, but a villager who knows his kids next meal depends on keeping the wild-life alive is much harder to bribe…
Tell me how this would not work…