The Wildlife Economy

The Wildlife Industry value chain is centred around game and wildlife farming / ranching activities that relate to the stocking; trading; breeding and hunting of game. As well as all the services and goods required to support this value chain.

The key drivers of this, include domestic and international hunters as well as a growing retail market demand for wildlife products, such as venison and taxidermy products. Currently the contributing factors to the sector is a fascinating mix of agriculture, eco-tourism and conservation characteristics.

In recent years, a thriving market has evolved in the sales of live indigenous wildlife species; the trading of species, particularly surplus stock from wildlife farms; wildlife ranches; public and private conservation areas, this largely through wildlife auctions.

Five methods are used in South Africa for trading with wildlife, namely:

  1. Private sales negotiated between the buyer and the seller (Professional wildlife catchers play an important role in the translocation of the animals)
  2. Live public wildlife auctions
  3. Public wildlife catalogue auctions
  4. A tender system (This method is used mainly by SANPARKS, provinces and municipalities that own wildlife and nature reserves)
  5. Electronic auctions

The Department of Environmental Affairs (and their stakeholders) objectives in this sector include:

  • To actively facilitate transformation of the sector through land access and support programmes for new entrants.
  • To drive growth through unlocking demand, and promoting and expanding value chains and products (i.e. game meat) establishing new markets.
  • To create new projects, zones and nodes that are integrated and include other sectors that synergise with biodiversity.
  • To create an enabling environment for the emerging farmers in the wildlife sector.
  • To address the reputational and conservational risks of the sector.
  • To focus on game and wildlife farming/ranching activities that relate to the stocking, trading, breeding, and hunting of game, and all the services and goods required to support this value chain.

It is important to remember that there are opportunities in wildlife tourism, as an expansion of a project or part of an economic node (especially if the node has linkage back to a protected area).



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