About Ian Michler

Ian has spent the last 24 years working as a specialist guide, photo-journalist and consultant across Africa, including a stint of 13 years based in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. When not guiding, he writes predominately for Africa Geographic covering topics on conservation, wildlife management, ecotourism, and the environment, and has been writing his popular monthly column since 2001. Ian is also the author and photographer of seven natural history and travel books on Africa, and is a past winner of the bird category in the Agfa Wildlife photographic competition (1997). He has also worked as a researcher and field coordinator on various natural history television documentaries for international broadcasters and as a consultant on ecotourism to various private sector and government agencies. Prior to his life in the wilderness, he spent eight years practicing as a stockbroker in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Author Archive | Ian Michler

Rhino horn – trading in fraud

Not unexpectedly, the South African government announced last week their intention to submit an application to CITES in 2016 for permission to trade their rhino horn stockpiles. But rather than seeking a complete legalization of trade, they have decided on what can only be referred to as the most foolish option – a one-off sale …

22 Comments   Read More

Evidence against trophy hunting mounts

Over the past decade I, along with other people, have consistently argued that the economic benefits of trophy hunting have been crudely overstated. And when viewed against the alternative land-use option, that of well-managed photographic ecotourism, the merit of trophy hunting in nationally protected areas holds even less weight, if any at all.  In this …

3 Comments   Read More

Maasai locked out of Loliondo

The Loliondo Game Controlled Area (LGCA), one of Tanzania’s most well-known Maasai community concessions and wildlife destinations is in the spotlight as local stakeholders and outside financial interests clash over its natural resources. These tensions are not new, and given the location of Loliondo and the bounty of wildlife and grazing it carries, such tussles …

4 Comments   Read More

Zambia Hunting Ban Update

On Wednesday the Zambian government held a stakeholders meeting in Lusaka in an attempt to thrash out some of the issues surrounding the crisis within the local trophy hunting industry. Chaired by the Vice-President (VP), Dr Guy Scott, those in attendance included a cross-section of hunters, wildlife managers, eco-tourism consultants, outside observers, government personnel and …

9 Comments   Read More
ZAWA, sable, banned hunting licences in Zambia

Fingers Off the Trigger: Zambia Cancels All Trophy Hunting Licences

Towards the end of last week Zambian wildlife authorities suspended the tender process for hunting concessions and cancelled all hunting licences for the foreseeable future. According to sources and local news reports, Minister of Tourism and Arts Sylvia Masebo has based her decision on corruption and malpractices between the hunting companies and various government departments. …

97 Comments   Read More
ivory trade, rhino horn, legalizing ivory trade

No Case for Legalizing the Ivory Trade

 Over the past few months there has been significant input into the debate about rhino horn that provides further compelling evidence against trade in this beleaguered wildlife commodity.   To begin with we had the release of two separate reports by international conservation agencies. The first, ‘Making a Killing’, was compiled by the International Fund …

1 Comment   Read More
Botswana bans hunting licences

Botswana Kills Trophy Hunting – Ian Michler reflects

Just under 2 weeks ago, the President of Botswana, Lt. Gen. Ian Khama, gave a speech wherein he announced that by the end of 2013, trophy hunting would no longer be allowed in Botswana. Speaking at a local kgotla in Mababe, a village along the edge of the Okavango Delta, he said that “Next year …

39 Comments   Read More
Rhino

Ian Michler’s diary: the rhino crisis

The rhino crisis : Legalising horn trade is not a solution Almost 950 rhinos have been killed illegally in South Africa since January 2010. It’s an alarming statistic, and it points to a major crisis. At the World Economic Forum at Davos in January, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about Greece and its huge debt …

7 Comments   Read More

Of Sharks and Other Trophies

South Africa’s weekend press carried a sickening story of some angler posing triumphantly over a dying shark he had minutes earlier hauled from the waters around Mossel Bay. No doubt using the most sophisticated equipment to catch what is apparently a Great White, it is people of this ilk that are also prone to boast …

1 Comment   Read More

Mana Pools faces threat

Mana Pools, the iconic Zimbabwean national park and World Heritage Site, faces another threat to its wilderness status as two new lodge developments on prime sites within the parks boundaries have been proposed. And both are being vigorously disputed by the wider conservation and ecotourism communities. It was just over a year ago that strong …

1 Comment   Read More