Can Shooting Animals Protect Wildlife and Support Local Economies?
In late 2013, Dakin Henderson and I traveled to the Pamir mountains of eastern Tajikistan (see map), supported in part by a National Geographic Society Young Explorer’s grant, to conduct documentary research on sport hunting and its intersection with wildlife management and local economic development. The Marco Polo sheep is the largest species of sheep in the world, and the most coveted amongst sport hunters. The Pamir region of Tajikistan encompasses the majority of the Marco Polo sheep’s best habitat with neighboring Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, and China hosting smaller native populations. We followed closely along on two hunts outfitted by The Hunting Consortium, Ltd, a Virginia-based company. The clients were both from the United States and had come to hunt both Marco Polo sheep, and Siberian ibex. The following selection of images and captions attempts to communicate what we learned during our trip to Tajikistan. The majority of the information presented was gathered through interviews we conducted on-site.