In today's New York Times Richard Conniff published an essay called, "A Trophy Hunt That's Good for Rhinos"? He writes, "auctioning the right to kill a black rhino in Namibia is an entirely sound idea, good for conservation and good for rhinos in particular." This conclusion is too fast for me, and he does not present data that support this claim.
Conniff claims that Namibia, a small and sparsely populated country, is a conservation success story. Over the past 20 years its rhino population has increased as have the number of mountain zebras, elephants and lions. This is because around 44 percent of the country benefits from conservation protection due to the establishment of communal conservancies that own the wildlife. Nowhere does Mr. Conniff argue that these success stories rest on killing some of these animals for the good of other members of their species. That's good, because we really don't know this.
In Namibia and elsewhere black rhinos do indeed find themselves trying to avoid humans out to kill them, but in Namibia only 10 rhinos have been killed since 2006. Of course, this is 10 too many, but far fewer than have been killed in neighboring South Africa, where around 1,000 were killed in 2012 alone. For more on rhino slaughter in South Africa please see.