A temporal analysis of trophy quality in South Africa: has trophy quality changed over time?
Who conducted the research: von Brandis, R.G., and Reilly, B.K.
Research took place in: South Africa
Published in: South African Journal of Wildlife Research (2007) 37: 153 – 158.
von Brandis and Reilly (2007) studied a database of ungulates that had been hunted in South Africa between 1993 and 2001 with the aim of detecting the trends in trophy quality during that time period. The trends were analysed from a species- and area-specific point of view. During species analysis, it was found that there was a decline in trophy quality of Impala (Aepyceros melampus), Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis), and Mountain Reedbuck (Redunca fulvorufula). Further analysis of areas showed that there was decline in trophy quality in the Northern Cape Province. The opposite had occurred in the Free State Province, where there was an increase in trophy quality, as well as an increase in the trophy quality of Blesbok (Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi). It was found that the monitoring of trophy quality allowed for the evaluation of the quality, as well as the sustainability of the ungulate resources being hunted.
South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana and Zimbabwe are the top countries involved in the trophy hunting industry in Africa. Trophy hunting not only attracts the people living within the country, it also attracts a lot of foreigners. Foreigners can afford the prices of the various wildlife and then get the chance to hunt a trophy animal. In a country where the trophy hunting industry the highest in the Africa (Lindsey, Roulet, and Romanach 2007), the quality of the trophy is a very important aspect. A range of wildlife are able to be hunted at prices, but the rarer the animal and the more exceptional the qualities, the higher the price is to hunt the animal. The quality of the trophy will have an impact on the industry.
The database analysed consisted of 4300 trophy ungulates and was measured using the Roland Ward measuring technique. Another 5300 trophies were then also analysed from 1999 until 2001 using the SCI measuring technique. Both the techniques used for the analysis, consisted of horn measurement to describe standard trophy quality. An index of trophy quality was derived by observing each individual by its species’ average trophy quality in the country as a whole. For species-specific analysis, individual specie trophies were arranged in the database, where for area-specific analysis, all the species were grouped within a particular area. Datasets that had less than 100 observations were not used for the study. ANOVA (analysis of variance) was used, as well as the rectilinear trend-line equation (y = mx + c) in order to determine the implications of declines in the quality of trophies.
Results of the study were done on Provincial and National levels. Results of the species-specific trends showed that there was a decline in the quality of Impala, Springbok, and...