War talk counter-productive in fight against poachers - ecologist

A Kruger National Park ecologist says using war talk is counter-productive in the fight to stop poachers.

The SanParks helicopter. Picture: Christa Van der Walt/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Animal rights activists gathered at the world's largest wildlife conservation conference, now underway in Sandton, have been warned by a Kruger National Park expert to temper their language.

Large mammal ecologist at the park, Sam Ferreira, says using war talk is counter-productive in the fight to stop poachers threatening the existence of elephants and other species.

It's quite wrong to talk about declaring a war on poaching, Kruger National Park's Ferreira told a side event at the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species.

Only the president can declare war.

Bellicose language, he says, is hurting efforts to engage local communities in the fight to save the elephant and other species.

Ferreira says war talk drives the debate into them and US situation with struggling local communities pitted against financially more comfortable conservationists.