||Minor: Even when numbers are high, this is not
a very visible or gregarious species
||Minor: Although trophy fee is disproportionately
high, clients are unlikely to choose safari because of
||Significant: A highly visible species in riverine
areas forming large groups
||Significant: Trophy fee is high and it has a
similar status to roan or sable trophies
||Major: Provides a spectacle when present in large
herds in flooded grasslands
||Significant: Trophy unique to a limited number
||Significant: Uncommon species which adds to the
total value of photographic tourism
||Minor: As for reedbuck, hunters will not base
choice of safari on presence or absence of this species
Table 8: Economic significance of wetland grazer species.
Analysis 1: Sport hunting in the Caprivi
Two scenarios were examined using Martin's (2002) analysis
of sport hunting potential in the Caprivi (Analysis
- no wetland grazers available for hunting;
- lechwe at densities of 20/km2, waterbuck at 2/km2 and
reedbuck at 2/km2 in the floodplain habitats.
These densities were adjusted in the proportion which the
floodplain habitats comprise of the total park areas (about
25% excluding West Caprivi Game Reserve).
The contribution of waterbuck and reedbuck trophies is not
significant.The quota which becomes available for lechwe raises
the total value of the trophy fees by some 35% and the net
return from hunting as a land use by 40% (i.e. from US$7.37/ha
These figures were derived on the assumption that buffalo
numbers were at carrying capacity (1.5/km2). However, using
present buffalo densities (0.25/km2), the impact of the lechwe
quota is even greater. This theoretical exercise applies mainly
to the State protected areas. However, it has relevance to
land outside the State protected areas: the original floodplain
area in the Caprivi is slightly less than 25% of the total
area of the Caprivi so that the figure calculated for net
land use value can be extrapolated beyond the parks.
For every 1,000km2 of communal land, the annual potential
earnings under a hunting system with species populations at
carrying capacity is of the order of US$1 million - provided
that the floodplains are an integral part of the wildlife
system. As long as people in communal lands (including conservancies)
use their floodplain areas for planting crops and grazing
cattle, returns of this magnitude will be denied to them.
The comparative advantages of wildlife land uses can be expected
to increase over time, due to continuing rapid expansion in
international tourist markets, increasing scarcity of wildlife
elsewhere, and the development of markets to capture international
wildlife non-use values as income (Barnes et al 2001). In
the medium to long term the comparative advantages of land
use based on domestic livestock can be expected to decline
as international subsidies are phased out (Ibd.).
Utilisation of Lechwe
Lechwe are capable of reaching very high population sizes
when conditions are favourable (tens of thousands of animals)
and provide an opportunity for periodic offtakes of significant
quantities of meat and hides. Traditional lechwe hunts have
been carried out in parts of Africa from time to time (e.g.
"chilas" in the Kafue Flats in Zambia where up to 5,000 lechwe
have been killed in a single hunt involving hundreds of hunters).
Such hunts should not be seen as 'anti-conservation' - it
is seldom that lechwe populations will sustain these high
levels for very long whether or not they are hunted.