An evaluation of different extensive wildlife production systems in the Western Cape Province of South Africa

Van Hoving, Susanna Catharina Petronella (2011-03)

Thesis (MScAgric (Agricultural Economics))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The wildlife industry in the Western Cape Province is growing, but lacks, particularly, economic research. This study explores the manner in which wildlife production systems in the Western Cape are currently operated and describes the characteristics of this industry. Furthermore, results on the evaluation of identified typical wildlife production systems in different regions of the Western Cape are revealed together with critical factors influencing success. No confusion remains regarding the importance of this industry. Wildlife production units cover a noteworthy percentage of the total area and are evenly spread within the province. The industry grew rapidly in the past 10 years and with a high diversity of at least 37 different wildlife species; ecotourism, hunting and live sales are the most prominent ways of utilising wildlife. This industry also contributes in terms of job opportunities supplied. The two typical systems evaluated are the biltong hunting system in the Beaufort West region and the trophy hunting system in the Southern Cape region. The biltong hunting system has been shown to be profitable, though it realises skimpy profits. It is, however, successful by virtue of the fact that wildlife producers perceive the wildlife enterprise as additional income to livestock production, almost without any additional costs. Although the gross margin per large stock unit is high, the trophy hunting system is not profitable and runs at a loss. The main problem is the overhead costs that exceed the gross margin, due to too low a number of wildlife species marketed. The industry in this region is, according to wildlife producers, hampered by legislation and regulations, which limit the variety of species allowed in the region. These wildlife producers manage their system on a part-time basis and fund it from other income sources. The Department of Agriculture is urged to assist the wildlife industry in the form of research on the economic, ecological and social impacts of this industry to determine its full contribution and capacity. Although wildlife producers contribute towards conservation and the application of sound conservation principles is important to them, they need to generate an income from wildlife production in order to make a living out of it, which ultimately makes it worth their while. Despite the systemic problems of a number of wildlife production systems, some wildlife producers are of the opinion that the pressure experienced in terms of legislation, makes it harder for them (in some regions more than other) to manage their wildlife production units in a profitable manner. Although the main objectives of government conservation authorities and wildlife producers might differ, the contribution of both towards conservation serves as common ground. It is therefore suggested that a joint approach is followed between government conservation authorities, the Department of Agriculture and wildlife producers to further develop the wildlife industry.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die wildbedryf in die Wes-Kaap groei tans, maar het ‘n tekort aan, veral, ekonomiese navorsing. Hierdie studie ondersoek die manier waarop wildproduksiestelsels tans in die Wes-Kaap Provinsie bedryf word en beskryf die karaktereienskappe van hierdie bedryf. Verder word die resultate van die evaluasie van die geïdentifiseerde tipiese wildproduksiestelsels in verskillende areas van die Wes-Kaap Provinsie bekend gemaak, tesame met die kritiese faktore wat sukses beïnvloed. Daar is geen twyfel oor die belangrikheid van hierdie bedryf nie. Wildplase beslaan ‘n betekenisvolle persentasie van die totale oppervlakte en is eweredig versprei in die provinsie. Die bedryf het vinnig gegroei in die laaste tien jaar en met ‘n groot verskeidenheid van minstens 37 verskillende wildspesies, is eko-toerisme, jag en lewende verkope die mees algemene manier om wild aan te wend. Die bedryf dra ook baie by in terme van werksgeleenthede. Die twee tipiese wildproduksiestelsels wat geëvalueer is, is die tipiese biltongjagstelsel in die Beaufort-Wes omgewing en die tipiese trofeejagstelsel in die Suid-Kaap omgewing. Die biltongjagstelsel toon winsgewend te wees, al is dit karige winste wat realiseer. Dit is egter suksesvol in die sin dat wildboere die wildvertakking sien as ‘n addisionele inkomste tot die lewendehawe produksie, amper sonder enige addisionele kostes. Alhoewel die bruto marge per grootvee-eenheid goed lyk, is die trofeejagstelsel nie winsgewend nie en maak ‘n verlies. Die eintlike probleem is die oorhoofse koste wat meer is as die bruto marge, as gevolg van te min en te klein verskeidenheid wild wat bemark word. Die bedryf in hierdie omgewing, na die mening van wildboere, word terug gehou deur wetgewing en maatreëls, wat die verskeidenheid wildspesies wat toegelaat word in die omgewing beperk. Hierdie wildboere bestuur hul stelsels op ‘n deeltydse basis en befonds dit vanuit ander inkomste bronne. Die Departement van Landbou word aangeraai om die wildbedryf by te staan in die vorm van navorsing op die ekonomiese, ekologiese en sosiale vlakke van die wildbedryf om sodoende die volle bydrae en omvang van hierdie bedryf te bepaal. Alhoewel wildboere bydra tot bewaring en die toepassing van suiwer bewaringsbeginsels vir hulle belangrik is, het hulle nodig om ‘n inkomste te genereer uit wildproduksie om sodoende ‘n bestaan daaruit te kan maak. Buiten die sistemiese probleme wat ondervind word by sommige wildproduksiestelsels, is party wildboere van mening dat die druk wat ervaar word in terme van wetgewing en maatreëls, dit vir hulle moeiliker maak om hul wildplase op ‘n winsgewende manier te bestuur. Alhoewel die doelwitte van die natuurbewaringsgesag en wildboere van mekaar mag verskil, dien die bydrae tot bewaring deur albei partye as gemeenskaplike grond. Om daardie rede word dit aanbeveel dat ‘n gesamentlike benadering tussen die regering se natuurbewaringsgesag, die Departement van Landbou en die wildboere gevolg word, om die wildbedryf verder te ontwikkel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6551
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