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BOOK MANAGING OUR WILDLIFE HERITAGE – RON THOMSON

An excerpt from the review written by Dr. John Ledger for WESSA (The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa). c. 2008.

I found myself engrossed in a work of great substance and importance. Don't let the small size of this book fool you. It is one of the best and most lucid guides to conservation and wildlife management in Africa that I have ever read.

It carries a profound message for all Africans. Our critically important societal conservation priorities are: number one the soil; number two the plants; and number three the animals. Donï't get distracted by emotional debates about the animals without the soil they are doomed anyway!

Chapter 8 is entitled A Second Order Management Option that Can Save Africa National Parks and Africa's Wildlife for Posterity, and here the author presents in just six pages a blueprint for a management dispensation that is breathtaking in its simplicity and logic. The successful implementation of such a plan depends on the sustainable utilisation of wildlife, and trophy hunting. The animal rights movement accordingly represents the greatest threat to this model, and Thomson explains why he regards this movement as the biggest danger to Africa's wildlife.

The book is packed with concise and practical information about natural resource management. It should be prescribed reading for all biology teachers, naturalists and interested citizens, and I recommend it without reservation to all our WESSA members and hope it will find its way into the environmental education programmes of the Society. Ron Thomson writes without fear or favour. His mind is well organised. His innovative solutions to difficult wildlife management problems are compelling. And nobody articulates them quite like he does.

DR JOHN LEDGER

Note: Dr. Ledger was, for twenty years or more, the much respected Director of the Endangered Wildlife Trust (South Africa). He is now retired.

R100

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RON THOMSON
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