Wildlife Conservation on the Rangelands of Eastern and Southern Africa: Past, Present, and Future
by Dr. Jerry Holechek and
Dr. Raul Valdez
Conservation Force founders John and Chrissie Jackson.
Rowland Ward is proud to be a corporate sponsor of Conservation Force.
In keeping with its strong support of and focus on wildlife conservation efforts around the world, Rowland Ward Ltd. is proud to announce it is now a corporate sponsor of Conservation Force.
The mission of Conservation Force is the conservation of wildlife and wild places. Conservation Force stands for three forces. First, that hunters and anglers are an indispensable and essential force for wildlife conservation. Second, that Conservation Force is a collaborative effort combining forces of a consortium of organizations and, third, that Conservation Force itself is a proactive force to be reckoned with because of its record of conservation successes.
“Conservation Force has been very selective about our corporate sponsors,” the organization said in a statement. “The mission of Rowland Ward is to help preserve and increase the habitat of (large) fauna worldwide by supporting sustainable fair-chase hunting with a direct benefit to the local indigenous people of the areas involved. To further this goal, Rowland Ward maintains an accurate and credible database of measurements of big-game animals from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania that have been hunted only under the highest fair-chase standards. This fits well with Conservation Force.”
Conservation Force is the culmination of four decades of pro bono wildlife conservation advocacy. It began as a law firm conducting minor pro bono legal services in the early 1970s. By the early 1990s, the firm began achieving an unprecedented number of victories for traditional conservation interests around the world. During that period, the law firm became an around-the-clock international communication headquarters and advocacy “war room” for governmental and sportsmen’s conservation organizations. The firm provided services that led to a great number of conservation and bio-political successes, including the Elephant Initiative, Mozambique Leopard Initiative, and importation of horn from darted black rhino. It was also instrumental, through a collaborative effort of many individuals and organizations, in the reform of the Marine Mammal Protection Act to permit the importation of polar bear trophies.
The activities were led by John J. Jackson, III, a lifetime sportsman with four decades of service and leadership in hunting and fishing conservation organizations. In the 1990s, John, his wife, Chrissie, and a network of volunteers and organizations formalized Conservation Force as a non-profit (501 (c)(3)), public charitable foundation to continue in perpetuity and expand the services and support that the principals had been providing to the hunting-conservation community.
Conservation Force’s work led to the first reform of international and diplomatic policy toward range nation conservation programs under the Endangered Species Act and CITES in a quarter of a century (CITES Trophy and Quota Resolutions at COP9.) It unearthed the inadequacy of the Endangered Species Act provisions for foreign mammals, which are most listed mammals. Today, Conservation Force continues to lead in the development and implementation of ESA reform. Conservation Force maintains its independence and is organized to service the conservation community directly, efficiently, and effectively. Learn more about Conservation Force at www.conservationforce.org.
Rowland Ward joins Sports Afield, Fauna & Flora, Ripcord, and Hornady as corporate sponsors of Conservation Force’s invaluable efforts in wildlife conservation.
James Mellon with zebra in Namibia circa 1970.
The African Professional Hunters Association’s mission is to contribute to the conservation of African wildlife and habitat by continuing the critical role played by ethical, responsible, and sustainable hunting, for the benefit of generations to come.
In order for APHA to make a real impact in support of this mission and to counter the onslaught of negative press generated by the anti – hunting lobbyists APHA needs funding. One of our founding members, Mr. Robin Hurt has donated a hunt on his private hunting ranch in Namibia which he will guide personally and in addition the hunt will be co-hosted by the legendary James Melon who authored the wonderful book “African Hunter”.
In the world of international hunting, Rowland Ward Ltd. has always been synonymous with sportsmanlike behavior and sound conservation practices. For generations, this venerable company has stood for fair-chase hunting and ethical principles, and in the turbulent world of the twenty-first century, we are more determined than ever to continue to be a beacon of true conservation and fair-chase hunting.
The Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) recently passed a resolution condoning hunts for captive-bred lions, a reversal of its previous position. Rowland Ward Ltd. is extremely disappointed by this decision, and in light of it, we have ended our association with PHASA.
As hunters, we must actively seek the best possible image for our sport, and we must always act in a manner that will further the principles of sound conservation and embody the finest traditions of sportsmanlike behavior. We believe the recent decision by PHASA does none of these things, and hence Rowland Ward Ltd. will no longer be associated with the organization.
Ethical and Fair Chase sustainable hunting is to the benefit of wildlife. Read here John Jackson’s report on the Top 50 Reasons why the Leopard is Not Endangered.
Antiquarian books have always been popular with collectors, and with the advent of the internet there are now more people collecting valuable printed books than ever before. Within the field of antiquarian books there is a vibrant niche of collectable exploration and hunting books, and these have been reaching astonishing prices in the last two decades. Want a signed copy of a book by Henry Stanley or David Livingstone? Better be prepared to fork over upwards of $10,000 in many cases. Until recently, however, collectable books on big-game hunting had not reached the astonishing levels of some ultra-desirable books such as hand-colored bird books and rare early works in Latin. That all changed when Sotheby’s of London sold a Rowland Ward Ltd. publication for an eye-popping price of 27,500 Sterling, which translates to over $37,500 US dollars.
The book was a remarkably well preserved copy of Count Potocki’s Sport In Somaliland, which is a journal of an elaborate hunting expedition in 1895 on which the count took his personal valet, a cartographer, and the Polish painter Piotr Stachiewicz along to record the journey. He certainly traveled in style! The book is handsomely illustrated with copper gravures depicting scenes of hunts for elephants, rhinos, lions, and leopards, and is bound in ivory-colored cloth depicting a large lion head. Why not look in your attic to see if you have a copy? As far as we are aware, this is the highest price ever paid for a Rowland Ward Ltd publication, and it is very likely the highest price ever paid for a book on big-game hunting.
Africa has some fourteen to eighteen species of duikers, which are very small antelopes. The word duiker is of Dutch origin and it means to “scoot under,” which is quite appropriate because duikers scoot under bushes and thick vegetation to get away from potential threats. Duikers come in many varieties, with the largest of them (the Jentinks and yellow-backed duikers) weighing as much as 150 pounds, and smallest (the blue duiker) about eight pounds. They occur from Senegal to South Africa wherever suitable habitat is found, which is mostly thick vegetation. Duikers typically reproduce at a quick rate and seem to survive even prolonged subsistence hunting pressures. When given some protection and exposed to controlled sport hunting programs, they thrive.
Some duikers are easy to hunt, like the blue duiker, which is found in many trophy collections. Others, such as the Abbot duiker, are very difficult or nearly impossible. Of all the duikers, the most prized is the zebra or banded duiker, which has a beautiful fawn/tan colored hide with eight to ten vertical stripes that are found on the rear half of the animal. They are only found in Liberia and possibly two adjacent countries. Since World War II they were hunted for a brief period during the 1960s by such African pioneers as James Mellon. They were again hunted, intermittently, in the 1980s and 1990s. Then, very recently, Liberia was once again opened to hunting, so zebra duikers are being hunted once more. The problem with zebra duikers is that they are not only hard to find and, even within Liberia, very localized, but they also live in one of the world’s hotspots for civic strife. It seems if there is not a revolution then there is a war with a neighboring country, and, as that clears up, Ebola strikes.
The zebra duiker shown here was shot in 1999 when the country was open for two seasons. This is a monster, with its longest horn measuring–are you sitting down?—a whole 3 1/8 inches. This is bigger by nearly one inch from the next largest zebra duiker on record.
Do you have information or a photo of an exceptional trophy that is listed in, or belongs in, Rowland Ward? If so, please send any information and photos for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently a customer sent us a copy of the eighth edition of Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game (1922). While nice copies of this edition are now getting hard to find, this is by no means the rarest of the Records of Big Game series. Inside this particular copy, however, we found extensive annotations in two colors of ink as well as a pasted photo of a large Tibetan argali. The photo had this caption: “Captain Bishop’s Record Argali Sheep (Ovis ammon).” This head was not listed in the 1922 edition, but it appeared in the 1928 edition in the No. 2 spot. Its longest horn was 51.5 inches and the location was listed as Ladakh. According to the ink inscription in our copy, Bishop shot this Tibetan argali in 1924.
Almost unknown to modern hunters, this Mother of All Argalis is one of the great trophies not only of Asia but the entire world; indeed, hunters of old rightly considered the Tibetan argali to be the Holy Grail of mountain game in Asia. Today, TAs continue to hold this reputation by those in the know—even though they are currently mostly inaccessible to hunters. Most people think of the Marco Polo argali as the top sheep in Asia, but consider this fact: For every one sheep hunter who has a Tibetan argali to his name, there are 100 hunters who have a Marco Polo.
The Tibetan argali inhabits terrain at roughly the same elevation as the Marco Polo (14,000 to 16,000 feet), but there are simply far fewer TAs than there are MPs; moreover, the character of the mountains is far more challenging for the hunter of the TA than it is for those who hunt the MP because the haunts—the Tibetan High Plateau of India and China—of the TA are nearly impossible to reach. While nobody in his right mind would say that an MP is a pushover to hunt, the skittishness and almost neurotic character of the TA is legendary. Read any classic Asian hunting book on the TA to see what I mean.Multiple are the accounts of hunters spotting a good head one morning—after weeks of effort—making a near-perfect stalk lasting most of the day, only to be bitterly disappointed when they think they are within shooting range to find the quarry long since gone and two mountain ranges downwind because somehow the animals sensed the hunter.
The photo of the No. 2 Tibetan argali is a most unusual find, and it will certainly be one of the many images we intend to add to the upcoming record books on Africa and the Rest of the World, due out in 2019 and 2021 respectively.
Do you have information or a photo of an exceptional trophy that is listed in or belongs in RW? If so, please send any information/photos you might have to email@example.com.