Dallas Safari Club Auctions off the Right to Kill Endangered Rhino

True to its promise, the Dallas Safari Club auctioned off the right to kill a black rhino in Namibia over the past weekend for a price of $350,000. The Safari Club has stated that 100% of the money will be contributed to Namibia’s Game Products Trust Fund. The details for the auction were published previously in my October 28 post.

black rhino

Let me once again state that I am not opposed to ethical hunting. I am also not a knee-jerk liberal conservationist. I understand the pro-conservation arguments being made for the auction by the government of Namibia and other agencies. However, in this instance I think they are wrong.

One of my favorite truth tests to apply to any argument  is the oath one must take to testify in court in the United States. “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” In other words, I will not lie, I will not lie by leaving out any relevant information, I will not twist the truth such that it becomes a lie. If statements fail this test I immediately call into question the trustworthiness of the person and their other statements.

Ben Carter is the executive director of the Dallas Safari Club and has issued multiple statements about the auction. Mr. Carter is not a stupid man. He knew when the Dallas Safari Club agreed to auction off the rights to kill an endangered Black Rhino that there would be conservationist backlash. As expected, he has attempted to make their view known and to put a good face on the auction. However, when I apply the truth test I find his statements coming up short.

According to NPR   “Carter says many of those who object are not educated in the role that hunting plays in conservation. A habitat can only sustain a certain population, he says, and any excess can be harvested and used to raise money through selling things like hunting licenses and permits.” [1]

This is a classic case of twisting the truth into a lie. Carter claims first that we are uneducated and then wants to “educate” us. Trust us, we understand how hunting can be used to manage wildlife populations, especially when a population outgrows its habitat. This frequently happens with wild deer in the United States. A specific number of permits are issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service to reduce the population size to that which can be supported. This is rational and humane policy. However, that is not the situation with the black rhino. There are only 5000 individuals left in the world! They are not outgrowing their habitat. In fact, the $350,000 raised by the Dallas Safari Club will be used in an attempt to increase the number of black rhinos in the wild. No, Mr. Carter is seasoning his comments with just enough science to make the spoiled meat a bit more palatable to the public.

The other claim is that “the hunt will be for an old, post-breeding, aggressive bull known to charge and kill younger bulls, cows and calves in Mangetti National Park. Removing these animals increases herd survival and productivity.” [2] I doubt that there are scientific studies to back this statement up, although it probably represents the best opinion of some experts. The health of a species is not just determined by numbers. Natural Selection has a lot to say about the health and success of a species. Perhaps the old bulls serve a function as reproductive gate keeper. Young bulls who are not sufficiently fit to displace the older bull do not reproduce and pass on their genes. Younger bulls who can defeat the older bull are more fit and theoretically pass on “stronger” genes. Thus the fitness of the species is ensured. The old bulls are not useless. They may be essential.

black rhino

I would like to return to the concept of ethical hunting. I can admire any hunter that tracks his prey and kills it in a sporting manner, i.e.: in a manner that gives the animal a fair chance of survival. I’ll use the analogy of fishing. Catching fish in a lake, river or ocean with a rod and real is ethical sportsmanship. It takes skill, knowledge and patience to succeed. And the fish have a chance of survival. Dragging a net through the ocean is not fishing, it is fish farming. It requires little skill and the fish have little chance of escaping. Another example is hunting from a helicopter, popular in Alaska and other Northern territories. While there is no doubt a great deal of skill involved by the hunter and pilot, the hunted animal has little chance of escaping the fast moving helicopter. However, a hunter that tracks a buck through the woods on foot and shoots it from 50-100 yards away is showing great skill and it is not a certain bet that the hunter will get the buck. This is ethical hunting.

Trophy hunting is different. By trophy hunting I am referring to the killing of an animal solely to obtain the head, pelt or other parts. This type of hunting is done for the thrill of killing the animal and the joy of seeing it’s dead body hanging on the wall. Legitimate arguments for trophy hunting have largely disappeared in the last century. With the rise of the media there are no longer any educational arguments for trophy hunting. Likewise, any type of hunting done simply for target shooting is also immoral.  We should not kill animals for our pleasure or amusement. However, if the hunter kills a (non-endangered) animal and harvests the meat, then I don’t care what he does with the rest of the carcass. Keeping a trophy is fine under that condition. It’s not for me but I don’t condemn the hunter.

So we now come back to the black rhino “hunt”. Is this ethical hunting. I’m fairly sure that there is little taste for old rhino meat. So what about the sport of the hunt, does the rhino have any reasonable probability of avoiding being shot? The answer of course is no. The fact that the Namibian government has already pre-selected individuals to be killed suggests strongly that they know exactly where the individuals are. Thus there is no sport. The hunter and his tracker will simply drive their range rover up to the targeted rhino and put a high powered bullet through its head. Under these conditions, I do not understand how any ethical hunter could pull the trigger. According to Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States,“Shooting a black rhino in the wild is about as difficult as shooting a parked car.”

This blog, nor any of the many other articles written about the hunt are going to change the outcome. However, I do hope that the Fish and Wildlife Service refuses to issue a permit to bring the trophy into the United States. Make your voice heard. To protest the importation on the black rhino trophy carcass contact:

Mr. Timothy J. Van Norman
Chief, Branch of Permits
Division of Management Authority
Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203

Telephone: 703-358-21040
fax 703-358-2281

email: tim_vannorman@fws.gov

FOOTNOTES:
[1] – http://www.npr.org/2013/12/29/257881008/to-save-the-black-rhino-hunting-club-bids-on-killing-one
[2] – http://gametrails.org/rhino-auction-hunt-praised-by-boone-and-crockett-club/

South Africa Safari – Day 12

Humble apologies to my gentle readers. Due to travel to the Midwest, Christmas and a nasty cold I have fallen behind in my postings. However, I’m back with the final day of our South African Safari.

We awoke on this, the 12th, and last day of our safari with both a sense of sorrow and relief. Sorrow because we did not want the experience to end. We had seen so many incredible sights and animals in the past 2 weeks and yet it was time to go home. Home to our own bed and our own wildlife (our 3 cats, Casper, Jasmine and Bosco).

It was an absolutely beautiful morning with golden light. The animals seemed to be energized, everything was moving. We almost immediately passed some rhinos grazing in the field. As always, they were accompanied by oxpeckers. With their bright bill and eyes I never tire of looking at them.

Our ranger headed the land rover toward the river to see if the overstuffed lions we observed the previous day were still there. He was driving at a pretty good clip as we passed a watering hole with a grey heron in it. The light on the pond was incredible. The water looked like liquid gold. We were yelling at our driver to stop but he kept going. We finally got him to stop and back up so that we could get the shot. It was worth it.

Leaving the heron behind we found a spotted hyena, sculking through the tall grass, that clearly had the scent of something. We continued on to the river and sure enough, the lions were still there. Still looking over stuffed and lethargic. It was clear that we would see no action out of this group today so we moved on.

Click on any image to enlarge it. Hover over an image to reveal the caption.

When we left the lions it was still early, about 6:40 am. We sighted a small herd of impala and then some steenbok. Steenboks are really cute but hard to photograph. They are very shy and hide when approached. However today we were lucky. The steenboks chose to hide in the tall golden grasses that lined the road. With the beautiful lighting that we had that morning we got some wonderful shots of steenboks backlit by the morning light and surrounded by the dry golden grass.

We heard via the radio that there were leopards in the area and headed off in the direction of where the reports were coming from. It took about an hour to get there and find the leopards. There were 3 of them, 2 males and 1 female. According to our ranger the female also had one or more cubs although they were hidden. We got there just after the female and one of the males had a fight. Apparently the male was interested in mating and the female was most definitely not interested. In this case the male came out on the loosing end.

The bloodied and beaten male attends to his wounds.

We continued to track and watch the leopards for almost an hour. The other male was also interested in mating but the female continued to show that there would be no fooling around today. It was fascinating to watch the interplay between the male and female and how the female controlled the situation even though she was much smaller than the male suitor.

And thus ended our 12 day safari. We had to head back to camp so that we could catch our flight to Johannesburg. However, our adventure was not quite over yet. From Johannesburg we would fly to Cape Town for a 3 day visit to this jewel of the African coast. During our visit there we would see penguins, fur seals, whales, sharks as well as visit incredible wineries and some of the most beautiful coastline I’ve ever seen. Stay tuned.

Entry to Kings Camp

Entry to Kings Camp

South Africa Safari – Day 7

When we rolled out of bed at 5:00 am on day 7 we had no idea what an exciting and  interesting day was in store for us. As usual, we were on the trail before 6 o’clock. It was a beautiful morning and the light was magnificent. We had barely gotten out of camp when we came across a small herd of impala. Even though we had lots of impala photos the light was so golden we had to stop and snap a few photos.

Click on any photo to enlarge

We left the impala behind and headed down to the river.  As we were crossing the river we spotted two saddle billed storks a couple hundred yards away. We had only seen these birds once before, and that was 2 years ago in Kenya. They are tall, colorful and spectacular. We watched and photographed them for over 30 minutes, although it seemed a lot longer. It was fascinating to watch them catch fish and then toss them down their throats. While watching the storks we also spotted some three banded plovers and Pied Kingfishers.

Leaving the storks behind we began to explore and see what else we could find. It was only 7 o’clock and the light was still good. As we drove under a tall tree a Vervet monkey issued warning calls. We drove through an area of rocky outcroppings hoping to spot leopards. Instead we spotted something ever less common, a Klipspringer (rock jumper). The Klipspringer is a very small antelope that has adapted to the rocky outcroppings as its home. He was very cute as he stood proud on the edge of a boulder surveying his domain.

Shortly thereafter we came across another pride of sleepy lions. We watched for a short time and realized that this group had no intention of moving anytime in the near future so we left. Our ranger Ross mentioned that a rhino had been killed by a poacher the day before and the rhino’s horn sawed off. We asked if the rhino was nearby and if we could see it. We took off for a short drive. We spotted conclusive signs that we were getting close.

We arrived at the rhino carcass and got to witness first hand the horror of poaching. The rhino was killed, the horn sawed off and the animal left for dead. It also appeared that one leg had been cut off, for reasons unknown.

rhino carcass, poaching, dead, Mala Mala688 rhinos have been killed in South Africa in 2013, half of those were in the area of Kruger and Mala Mala.This one made it 689. To find out a bit more about this incident take a look at my blog of October 14th.

The rhino carcass had already been partially eaten by scavengers. When we arrived there were just a few vultures present. Then a leopard showed up to help himself to a piece of rhino flesh before heading off to the bush. With the leopard gone the vultures moved in with a fury. It was fascinating to watch nature at work. As the following photos show, there were times when so many vultures were fighting for food that you couldn’t see the carcass.

If you would like to really see what a feeding frenzy this was you can check out some video of the scene on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbfbbSrrMJ4

We spent over an hour at the site. It was one of the most meaningful and relevant experiences of the trip in many ways. But it was time to move on.

As we started exploring again we came across a waterhole with an Egyptian goose and a hippopotamus immersed in green slime. Not real photogenic so we moved on. We also found some wildebeest, an elephant and a male and female kudu in the brush.

Our next discovery really impressed me. I am always astonished at how good our rangers and trackers are at spotting hidden animals. As we were driving along the trail at a pretty good speed, Ross all of a sudden pulls over by a tree and holds up his hand for silence. He takes out his binoculars and stares intently into the tree for a few seconds and then turns to us, points and says “white faced owl”. And sure enough, hidden in the branches of this dense tree was a smallish owl. The owl flew from place to place in the tree before settling down. It took us a bit of maneuvering to finally get in position where we could get a photograph of it. It was gorgeous with white and grey feathers and bright orange eyes

Southern White Faced Scops Owl

Southern White Faced Scops Owl

.As we started to make our way back to camp we came across a herd of Cape buffalo. These animals are interesting. In the two trips that I’ve taken to Africa the Cape Buffalo has shown the temperament of a cow, yet it is renowned to be among the fiercest of animals. I guess I should be happy I haven’t seen that side of their personality.

We had seen a record number of species during the morning drive. Fifteen different animals by my count. We had also seen nature in action as the vultures moved in to clean up the rhino carcass. Could the afternoon possibly keep pace?

Shortly after taking off we “bumped” into a grazing white rhino. You can get pretty close to these guys as long as they are not defending turf or females. This is why the recent announcement by the Dallas Safari Club that it was going to auction off the trophy rights to kill a black rhino (endangered, only 5000 left in the world) makes no sense. It takes no great skill to kill a rhino. You drive up to it and shoot it!

See also Black Rhino to be Killed by Dallas Safari Club

After leaving the rhino we sighted a herd of elephants in the river bed and headed off in that direction.

Elephant, Mala MalaThe herd included elephants of all ages and sizes. One was so young and small that it had not yet learned to fully control its trunk. Mom was going up the bank by the river and junior was trying to follow but couldn’t quite make it. Mom had to turn around and pull him up the bank with her trunk.

Mother pulls baby up the river bank with her trunk.

Mother pulls baby up the river bank with her trunk.

There were a number of large bulls that looked menacing and some teenagers that tried to look tough. We did see a couple of males fighting over a female. It wasn’t a death match but it wasn’t play time either.

After leaving the elephants we spotted a leopard, who for the most part was content to just lie in the grass. We watched and tracked it for about an hour before moving on.

Even though we had seen a number of male kudus we hadn’t yet captured a really great photo of one. It was just about 5 pm, an hour before sunset and the light was great, when we spotted a beautiful male. We started to follow him and managed to get a great shot that took advantage of the “golden hour” lighting. We also captured another lilac breasted roller in this same light.

In the morning we found a pride of sleepy lions. We decided to check up on them before returning to camp, hoping that they were awake and ready for action. While we caught a few nice portraits in the golden evening light, most of the lions were still catching zzz’s.

Thus ended day 7. As the sun went down we caught one last photograph in memory of a great day.

Sunset, silouette, Mala Mala

South Africa Safari – Day 6 Mala Mala

When we went to bed the previous evening it was unclear if the weather was going to cooperate with us for our game drive in the morning. When we woke up, as we feared, it was still raining, although it had slowed to a drizzle.  We got together at 5:30 am as usual but decided against going out. The forecast was for clearing skies and we decided to wait it out.

Click on any image to enlarge

We had a hearty breakfast and the rain did indeed clear. We were out by shortly after 9 am. That’s not to say that the weather was perfect. Even the animals seemed to be complaining. We came across a number of birds desperately trying to dry out. A lilac breasted roller was fluffed up like a cotton ball. An entire tree was filled with white backed vultures with wings extended trying to dry out. An a yellow horn bill was looking very bedraggled – like Richard Lewis after a hard night on the town. We were also fortunate to see a Brown Hooded Kingfisher and a Warburg’s Eagle.

Just to round out the day’s birding we also came across a red-billed oxpecker taking a bath in a mud puddle, a helmeted guinea fowl and a beautiful Greater Blue-eared Starling. Although not a member of the avian kingdom we did come across another of Africa’s smaller mammals – the dwarf mongoose.

One  of the most fascinating creatures in all of Africa has to be the giraffe. It is almost without comparison throughout the rest of the world. One would think that that long neck and spindly legs would make it unstable and ready prey to lions and other carnivores. Yet we watched a few giraffes take off at a full “gallop” and they are both fast and graceful. Last weekend I was watching a National Geography special on TV and saw a giraffe kick an attacking lion with it’s hind legs about 15 feet into the air. Male giraffes will battle for supremacy by “necking” or swinging their heads and necks at each other. On this particular morning we got to watch a couple of males “necking”.

The sun was out fully now and we could appreciate the beauty of the landscape. In addition, the animals were starting to move about.

It was now about 11:30 and we came across a pride of lions doing what they do best – nothing. They were obviously well fed and resting in the mid-day sun. Not much to do but watch and enjoy their beauty.

After watching the lions lounge about for a while we decided it was time to head back to camp. Our ranger and driver Ross was flying down the trail when JoAnn called out “Leopard”. Sure enough, right by the road was a leopard resting under a tree. Of course we had to stop for photos. Shortly after we stopped, the leopard decided he didn’t want company and took off. By then a second land rover had joined us and we followed this fellow for quite a while. He made us work for our photographs but in the end it was worth it.

After tracking the leopard we broke for lunch but resumed our drive at the usual time of 3:30 pm. We saw a number of animals that afternoon but one of the coolest was a mother white rhino and her young calf. It’s hard to describe the calf as “cute” but no other word fits.

We stayed out until sundown as usual. On our way back to the camp in the dark we had two very rare sightings. The first was a large spotted Genet. Although not endangered they are not often sighted because they are nocturnal. The second sighting was extremely rare – an endangered white-tailed mongoose. We were thrilled to have captured photos of both!

Day 4 and 5 – Final Days at Londolozi

On our 4th day at Londolozi we were well acquainted with the process and were out for our morning drive before 6 am. It turns out that this would be lazy cat day. After quickly stopping to take a few shots of some Nyala we continued on. Shortly thereafter, Like and Richard thought they saw some tracks in the road and jumped out for a closer look.

Click on any image to enlarge

And off we went. While the tracks did not pan out we did hear about another leopard over by one of the watering holes. We got there about 6:30. It was a single female leopard but she really didn’t seem interested in doing anything except sitting in the grass. She changed location once or twice but that was about it. She was a beautiful animal, however.

We stayed with her for about an hour and 15 minutes and then went in search of other game. We soon came across a couple of rhinos lounging in a watering hole with a beautiful Egyptian goose posed right in front of them. Of course, before we could even raise our cameras the goose was gone! In addition to the rhinos there was a bush buck posing nearby.

For our afternoon drive Richard was determined to improve on the morning’s results. Once again he and Like were out of the land rover and tracking on foot. Richard was looking very macho toting his rifle.

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We did quickly come across some warthogs, impala and kudu. In addition, Cathy got a great shot of a small tree squirrel. We then spotted a small herd of zebras, with one young colt.There is something about zebras that is fascinating, and the colts are very adorable.

About 30 minutes after leaving the zebras we found a pride of lions.  However, since this was lazy cat day they seemed much more intent upon sleeping than anything else. Yawning seemed to be the major activity. Nonetheless, it was interesting to watch them interact and then as the sun approached sunset, they began to move (a little).

Overnight, we had some rain and the weather was looking none too good for the last of our morning game drives. But we headed out anyway. I was not concerned about getting cold and wet but that our cameras would get damaged. We managed to see some giraffes and Nyala but the weather continued to worsen. Of course no one wanted to be the one who suggested going back so I filled that roll. Surprise, surprise, surprise! The others readily agreed.

Getting back early had it’s benefits. Instead of our morning box breakfast we got to enjoy breakfast in the camp. And they served up a beautiful spread.

This was our last morning at Londolozi. It was time to move on to our next camp, MalaMala. MalaMala is just to the east, between Londolozi and Kruger National Park.

It took about 40 minutes to drive to MalaMala. The weather was not cooperating either. Rain continued to come and go. We were warmly greeted when we arrived at MalaMala despite the cold weather. We checked in and moved into our new accommodations. However, due to the inclement weather, we elected not to have any game drives that afternoon. Actually, Tom and Ray went out, but of course they’re nuts…

MalaMala Main Camp

Our Room

Looking forward to tomorrow!

Black Rhino to be Killed by Dallas Safari Club

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Black Rhino

As if the conservation news out of Africa were not bad enough I just recently ran across this bit of insanity.

A Texas hunting club said Friday it aims to raise up to a million dollars for endangered black rhinoceroses by auctioning off a permit to kill one in Namibia. (AFP – Fri, Oct 25, 2013)  The Dallas Safari club will sell the permit during its annual convention and expo Jan. 9-12 in Dallas and expects to raise between $250,000 and $1,000,000 with all proceeds donated to the Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia’s Black Rhino.

According to the Dallas Safari Club the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is fully supporting this action and promises to issue a permit to allow the importation of the rhino carcass/trophy. Tim Van Norman, chief of the branch of permits at the FWS said the US government has not yet issued any permit to the Dallas Safari Club to return a rhino’s carcass to the United States.

The individual hunter who is identified as the winner of the auction would first have to pass certain background checks and the animal chosen for the hunt would have to be approved as being beneficial to the conservation of the species for the US government to allow the trophy to come back inside US borders, he said.

According to DSC the Government of Namibia approved the permit in accordance with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) provisions to generate crucial funding for rhino conservation initiatives including anti-poaching efforts—while at the same time managing the black rhino population within Mangetti National Park, where the hunt will take place.

Black rhinos are internationally considered an endangered species and the World Wildlife Fund says about 4,800 are alive in the African wild. As I reported in a previous blog posting, the sub-species western black rhino is now considered extinct. (By William Holt | Yahoo! News – Thu, Jun 27, 2013)  Namibia has an annual quota to kill up to five black rhinos out of its herd of 1,795 animals.

Female black rhino and calf

Female black rhino and calf

The theory behind this action is that older male rhinos that have already reproduced interfere with the access of younger males to female rhinos. According to Tim Van Norman of the FWS:

“Namibia has determined that older black rhino males that have already produced offspring and are in reproductive decline are the best targets for hunting.”

“Black rhinos are very territorial so you will have an older male that is keeping younger males from reproducing,” he explained.

“By removing these older males from the population, you get an increase in the production of calves. Younger males are able to impregnate the females that are in that area so you get more offspring than from some of these older males.”

Whatever happened to the good old idea of natural selection and survival of the fittest. Does not the competition of males for females assure that the most fit rhinos will pass on their genes?

So why is this a problem?

First of all, money is extremely seductive. Make no mistake about it. The government of Namibia is taking this action because it needs to money to fight poaching and to help preserve the species. If they had sufficient money they would not be killing off an endangered animal.

This action also perpetuates the concept of the wealthy gaining special access and being able to rise above laws and conventions designed to protect endangered species.

And finally, the concept of taking trophies of endangered species is repugnant.

This is not a screed against hunters. Most hunters have very strong feelings about conservation and strong ethical stands. Today’s hunters work very hard to track their prey and seldom take them just for trophies. They will field dress the carcass and haul it home for food. As long as you are not hunting an endangered species, this is fine.

I also understand that hunting and selective thinning can be an effective wildlife management tool. However, this is always applied to situations were a population has become out of balance (overpopulated). “Thinning of the herd” can prevent mass starvation and over-running of other species in the same area.

That is not the situation in Namibia. The chance of the rhinos over-populating there is zero. Will the removal of one older male rhino result in and increase in the number of calves? That is highly questionable.

My concern is that the government sanctioned killing of endangered species sends the completely wrong message to the world. Just in the past 6 months 100 to 300 elephants were poisoned by natives in Zimbabwe. Why shouldn’t the natives feel cheated. If it’s okay for the government to kill one rhino and collect $1 million why can’t they?

There is also the concept of trophy hunting endangered animals. While I don’t have any interest in mounting animal heads in my home I don’t have a problem with the ethical taking of trophies. A hunter who tracks a huge 12 point buck, kills and dresses it is left with the head and rack. I have no problem with mounting that head. The hunter showed skill and hard work in obtaining it. On the other hand I would be appalled at the concept of a hunter walking up to an animal in an animal park and killing it just for the head.

And that is exactly the situation with the black rhino. Even in a large preserve, it is not hard to find these huge animals. And while rhinos can be a bit aggressive at times, especially if they are with females, they are used to seeing the rangers and others in land rovers.  According to Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, “Shooting a black rhino in the wild is about as difficult as shooting a parked car.”

Land Rover closely approaches a white rhino

Land Rover closely approaches a white rhino

Finding and killing a black rhino requires almost no skill. How can the dead carcass of an animal killed under such conditions be considered a trophy? I would be morally ashamed to own such a trophy.

On his evening commentary, Stephen Colbert summed it up nicely when he stated,

“If you love something, set it free. Then, when it has a head start – open fire!”

To protest the importation on the black rhino trophy carcass contact:
Mr. Timothy J. Van Norman
Chief, Branch of Permits
Division of Management Authority
Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203

Telephone: 703-358-21040
fax 703-358-2281

email: tim_vannorman@fws.gov

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/429950/october-24-2013/the-word—philantrophy?xrs=share_copy

Addendum: The US Endangered Species Act
http://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/international-stories.html

What activities does the ESA prohibit?
Except by regulation or permit issued for specific purposes consistent with the ESA, it is unlawful for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. to:

    • Import into and export from the U.S. listed species.
    • Take—which includes harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing, collecting, or to attempting any of these—of listed species within the U.S., its territorial waters, or on the high seas.
    • Possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship listed species taken in violation of the ESA.
    • Sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce; or deliver, receive carry, transport, or ship listed species in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of commercial activity.

Does that mean that a U. S. citizen or resident may hunt an endangered species or a threatened species in another country?
The ESA does not prohibit hunting listed species outside of the U.S. In fact, the ESA does not have the authority to do so. While foreign countries determine whether hunting an endangered or threatened species within their boundaries is lawful, the ESA does regulate the importation of such species.

To import a trophy of a listed species, a person is required to obtain an import permit from the Service’s Division of Management Authority. Since the purpose of importing a sport-hunted trophy is for the hunter’s personal use, an import permit may only be issued if the import is for purposes that enhance the propagation or survival of the species. While the Service does not regulate take (i.e., hunting) in foreign countries, the import of listed trophy species may only be shown to enhance the species if it is taken from a well managed and supported conservation hunting program. It should be noted that the Service has only authorized the importation of endangered trophy species under very limited circumstances. In addition, some threatened species may be imported without an import permit if there is a special rule under the ESA that allows such an activity.

References:

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2013/04/black-rhino-trophy-import-041613.html

http://www.iucn.org/media/news_releases/?12538/African-rhinos-wont-hold-out-for-much-longer-IUCN-experts-warn

http://news.yahoo.com/texas-hunters-sell-permit-kill-rare-black-rhino-182544084.html

Dallas Safari Club – http://biggame.org/