Comment | Published:

Trophy hunting certification

Nature Ecology & Evolutionvolume 1pages17911793 (2017) | Download Citation

Adaptive certification is the best remaining option for the trophy hunting industry in Africa to demonstrate sustainable and ethical hunting practices that benefit local communities and wildlife conservation.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    Lindsey, P., Balme, G., Funston, P., Henschel, P. & Hunter, L. T. B. Conserv. Lett. 9, 296–301 (2016).

  2. 2.

    Di Minin, E., Leader-Williams, N. & Bradshaw, C. J. A. Trends Ecol. Evol. 31, 99–102 (2016).

  3. 3.

    Lindsey, P. A., Frank, L. G., Alexander, R., Mathieson, A. & Romanach, S. S. Conserv. Biol. 21, 880–883 (2007).

  4. 4.

    Packer, C. Lions in the Balance: Man-Eaters, Manes and Men with Guns (Univ. Chicago Press, 2015).

  5. 5.

    Gullison, R. E. Oryx 37, 153–165 (2003).

  6. 6.

    Bush, S. R. & Oosterveer, P. Sustainability 7, 1861–1883 (2015).

  7. 7.

    Potts, J. et al. State of Sustainability Initiatives Review 2014: Standards and the Green Economy (International Institute for Sustainable Development, Manitoba, 2014).

  8. 8.

    Gutierrez, N. L. et al. PLoS ONE 7, e43765 (2012).

  9. 9.

    Tuck, S. L. et al. J. Appl. Ecol. 51, 746–755 (2014).

  10. 10.

    Blackman, A. & Rivera, J. Conserv. Biol. 25, 1176–1185 (2011).

  11. 11.

    Christian, C. et al. Biol. Conserv. 161, 10–17 (2013).

  12. 12.

    McGrath, D. G., Castello, L., Almeida, O. T. & Estupinan, G. M. B. Soc. Nat. Resour. 28, 513–529 (2015).

  13. 13.

    Fischer, A., Weldesemaet, Y. T., Czajkowski, M., Tadie, D. & Hanley, N. Conserv. Biol. 29, 1111–1121 (2015).

  14. 14.

    Armitage, D. R. et al. Front. Ecol. Environ. 7, 95–102 (2009).

  15. 15.

    Tscharntke, T. et al. Conserv. Lett. 8, 14–23 (2015).

Download references


T.C.W. was funded by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. L.W.T. was supported by a Carnegie Corporation of New York Fellowship through the Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand (grant B8749.R01). T.T. was supported by the DFG-CRC 990 EFForTS and the BMBF project Limpopo Living Landscapes. T.C.W. thanks M. Fortin-McCuaig for initial discussions on the topic.

Author information

Author notes


    1. Agroecology, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany

      • Thomas C. Wanger
      •  & Teja Tscharntke
    2. Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

      • Thomas C. Wanger
    3. School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK

      • Lochran W. Traill
    4. School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

      • Lochran W. Traill
    5. Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, University of New South Wales, New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

      • Rosie Cooney
    6. IUCN CEESP/SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

      • Rosie Cooney
    7. ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

      • Jonathan R. Rhodes
    8. School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

      • Jonathan R. Rhodes
    9. Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

      • Jonathan R. Rhodes


    1. Search for Thomas C. Wanger in:

    2. Search for Lochran W. Traill in:

    3. Search for Rosie Cooney in:

    4. Search for Jonathan R. Rhodes in:

    5. Search for Teja Tscharntke in:


    T.C.W. and L.W.T. conceived the work. All authors wrote the manuscript.

    Competing interests

    The authors declare no competing financial interests.

    Corresponding authors

    Correspondence to Thomas C. Wanger or Lochran W. Traill.

    About this article

    Publication history


    Issue Date


    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing