The Leopard Task Force (LTF) is currently collaborating with a number of agencies while researching the trophy hunting of leopards in African countries.
Trophy hunting of wildlife, particularly in African countries is a polarizing topic. Recent scientific research has indicated the activity is having a detrimental effect on endangered species populations, including the African leopard. South Africa banned the trophy hunting of leopards for 2016 and extended the ban for 2017 due to serious concerns about the effects of the activity on leopard populations. The trophy hunting of leopards continues in a number of African states and LTF research into the activity has been requested by a private client.
Although leopards are listed on Appendix I of CITES, 12 African countries are permitted to export a quota of leopard skins each year, as long as these skins are not used for commercial purposes. Most of these skins are procured through trophy hunting, with a combined annual quota for all countries of 2648 leopard skins as of July 2018.
Part of our concern is that the trophy hunting of leopards is a market driver in that skins (and any other body parts) resulting from this practice have the effect of adding value to the commodities involved thus stimulating the illegal trade in leopard body parts throughout the range of panthera pardus.
Please note that the Leopard Task Force does not in any way endorse the trophy hunting of leopards and we have been vocal in our opposition to the activity. We consider the practice barbaric and counter productive. This research project will precede further opposition to leopard trophy hunting.