In 2009 the Fund supported and funded research regarding the Cape mountain zebra.  Dr Halszka Hrabar of the then Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa did the research and wrote the report which was submitted in 2010 to the Chief, Branch of Permits of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The report was to proof the successful conservation of the species in South Africa in anticipation of its further growth through sustainable utilisation.

The Fund has supported many other research projects – the Cheetah Wildlife Research Project, blue duiker, to name but a few – together with numerous NGO’s and tertiary institutions.

We will continue to do so into the future, along with likeminded nationally and internationally based associations and organisations.

The Cape Mountain zebra, classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List, is the flagship species of the Mountain Zebra National Park.


Following the announcement of a zero-leopard hunting quota early in 2016, PHASA, in conjunction with the Limpopo Hunters’ Liaison Forum, established the Conservation Research Fund in April 2016. It became evident that government based its decision on inadequate, unreliable and highly questionable data.

It transpired that the Minister of Environmental Affairs announced the zero-leopard quota on the advice of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), which, in turn, based its non-detrimental finding on research conducted by Panthera. PHASA’s Conservation and Empowerment Fund had no concrete scientific proof to refute it.

Subsequently, the private sector decided to undertake research towards collecting reliable data on leopard numbers that could withstand critical scrutiny. The database will contribute towards the enhancement of species in the wild and ensure that our industry’s offtake is sustainable and beneficial to both the environment and the community. It is crucial that the communities experience the benefits of the wildlife industry if wildlife is to survive.

PHASA informed SANBI and the Department of Environmental Affairs that the private sector would no longer tolerate decisions that affect our livelihood and exclude us from the decision-making process. We are pleased to announce that the hunting industry is now part of the process of developing national leopard norms and standards. We also secured a commitment from SANBI to allow a scientist of our choice to represent the private sector on SANBI’s advisory board.

The study will also incorporate any information that can be substantiated regarding the effects of illegal offtake of leopards by poaching for cultural and religious ceremonies, indiscriminate poisoning, trapping and illegal shooting.

Furthermore, this estimated R 5 million, three year project is to present its findings along with recommendations to the Department of Environmental Affairs, on how to mitigate the future and non-detrimental findings of the country’s leopard population.

A special word of thanks to Dallas Safari Club Foundation and Safari Club International for the huge donations they’ve made towards the CRF.


Donation of US$500 to Conservation Research Fund

Long-time donor and friend of the Georgia Chapter, Phillip Bronkhorst, donated a 10-day safari to the chapter for the 2018 Annual Banquet and Fundraiser. The Georgia Chapter donated a portion of the sale of this trip back to the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA).

Pictured from left are: Chip Gilbert; Louis Cole, a PHASA representative; and Phillip Bronkhorst. This cheque was handed to PHASA at the national SCI expo in Las Vegas.