Want to Save Endangered Species? Hunt Them
On tonight's show, "60 Minutes" profiled private big-game hunting in Texas, which has become a $1 billion industry and is credited with saving some exotic species that are now extinct in their native lands in Africa. It's a great example of how private property rights and profit-based game hunting give the animals a positive economic value and create strong economic incentives to increase the herds in far greater numbers than if we were to rely on pure altruism. The big-game hunters have become the true "conservationists," and the animal rights activist are not happy about that.
Watch the full segment below:
(CBS News) -- "The scimitar horned oryx . . . the addax . . . the dama gazelle - three elegant desert antelope that you'd hope to see on a journey through Africa, except that their numbers are dwindling there. Which is why Lara Logan went to Texas -- yes, Texas. There, on large grassland ranches, some exotic species that are endangered in the wild have been brought back in large numbers. But there's a catch: a percentage of the herd is hunted every year by hunters who pay big money for a big catch. The ranchers say this limited "culling" gives them the money they need to care for the animals and conserve the species. But animal rights activists don't buy that argument, claiming the hunts are "canned" and that hunting is wholly inconsistent with conservancy."