Controlled and regulated trophy hunting may be the best way to ensure the long-term survival of endangered species, infers Sean Cunningham of Real Clear Life. Auctioning off old animals and creating a hefty legal profit could encourage local engagement in their preservation. While the acts of trophy hunting or poaching are not morally justifiable, every strategy to fight them has failed. Re-directing the profits from poachers to local communities could make these animals a source of income for the latter and discourage the former. While such a system might seem immoral, the survival of endangered species should be the priority.
There are too many potential downsides to trophy hunting for it to be considered a viable form of conservation, asserts Alexis Crosswell of One Green Planet. The premise that the influx of foreign money leads to better conservation is flawed. The huge revenue from trophy hunting puts pressures on local managers to raise quotas beyond their normal levels in the quest for even bigger profits. While it may be true that having animals profit local communities is positive, this is rarely the case as middlemen take most of the spoils. It is impossible to hunt endangered animals with the guarantee of promoting conservation.