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African Wildlife Conservation Collections at the University of Florida - Special and Area Studies Collections


A set of three distinct but related manuscript collections comprise what may be the most comprehensive body of primary research materials on the development of wildlife conservation policies and practices in Eastern and Southern Africa (as well as throughout the former British Empire and beyond). Among the most important historical themes covered from its beginnings is the development of community conservation strategies. Now a firmly established principle worldwide, community based conservation first was applied in 1960 by the Galana Game Management Scheme in Kenya and expanded by the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) in Zimbabwe during the 1980s (Brosius et al. 2005:116). Professional hunters were concerned with game management practices from a much earlier period and were in a position to observe changes in wildlife habitats and populations over time.

Child, Graham and Brian. African Wildlife and Range Management Collection. 1909-2004 (Bulk: 1960-2004). Includes reports, correspondences, maps, charts, related literature, and documents relating to the development, implementation and assessment of multiple wildlife programs and initiatives. Dr. Graham Child was active from the late 1950s onwards and his son, Brian Child, began his academic work in the 1980s. Both Graham and Brian work extensively in Zimbabwe (known as Rhodesia pre-1980), although the collection contains extensive material about Zambia, Botswana as well as research consultancies throughout the world. Ms Group 291.

East African Professional Hunters Association Records. 1934-1999 (bulk: 934-1977). The association's minutes, membership records, rules, reports, correspondence, collected press clippings, records of trophies awarded, disciplinary actions, member biographical sketches, and photographs. Selected materials have been digitized and are available online:

Parker, Ian S.C. Collection Relating to East African Wildlife Conservation, 1896-2012 (bulk: 1956-2004). Documents wildlife management and conservation in East Africa, particularly in Kenya, over more than fifty years. The bulk of the collection spans 1956-2004 and covers Parker's service as a Game Warden in Kenya, his activities with Wildlife Services Ltd., work as an independent consultant, and his research and activities relating to the ivory trade, poaching, elephants and other wildlife.



Biographical/Historical Notes


Graham Child, O. L. M. B.Sc. (Hons), Ph.D. was born in 1936 in Rhodesia (later known as Zimbabwe) where he went to school. He attended the University of Cape Town; his thesis dealt with the behavior of large mammals trapped on islands during the formation of Lake Kariba, when the Zambezi River was dammed. He worked as a wildlife ecologist in the late 1950s, and at the National Museum Service of Zimbabwe. He served as the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization's Wildlife Ecologist in Botswana for six years beginning in 1965. This led to his appointment in 1971 as Director of National Parks and Wild Life Management in Zimbabwe, a position he held until his retirement in the 1980s. Dr. Graham Child is the author of numerous articles, papers and books.

Brian Child was born in Rhodesia in 1962 and moved to Botswana with his father in 1965. He returned to Rhodesia in 1970 and attended school at Plumtree, graduating in 1980. He attended the University of Zimbabwe, graduating with a B.Sc. in 1983. He earned a Rhodes Scholarship for Oxford, graduating with his Ph.D. in 1988. Dr. Brian Child was Senior Ecologist in the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management in the Branch of Terrestrial Ecology. Trained as a resource economist, Child's primary assignment until 1990 was to analyze the economics of wildlife in mixed grazing regimes of cattle and wildlife on commercial ranches. This interest in the economics of wildlife utilization led to his involvement in the Community Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE). This work was supplemental to his research on wildlife and cattle on commercial ranches. He began giving technical assistance to district councils with wildlife in southern Zimbabwe where these projects were often developed in cooperation with local commercial ranchers who also utilized both cattle and wildlife. In 1991, he was appointed by National Parks and Wildlife Management as its national coordinator for the CAMPFIRE program. He currently is a professor of geography at the University of Florida, specializing in the management of protected areas and conservation of natural resources.


The East African Professional Hunters Association (EAPHA) operated from 1934 to 1977, ending with the official abolishment of wild game hunting in Kenya. The association was founded in Nairobi in 1934 by a group of thirteen hunters in Kenya. In 1959 the EAPHA agreed to open membership to any nationality or race. By 1960 membership included 65 full members and over two hundred probationary and honorary associate members from around the world. Its members' clients were "a cross section of the world's captains of industry, royalty and celebrities," including well-known political figures such as Governor John Connelly of Texas and popular culture celebrities such as Bing Crosby. The EAPHA was governed by an Executive Committee, whose members were elected annually. The association held annual meetings, an Annual Dinner, and presented an annual Shaw and Hunter Trophy. The EAPHA was influential in the development of wildlife conservation practice, opposing poaching, aiding the evolution of wildlife tourism, and in the framing of Kenya's game laws.


Ian S.C. (Stuart Carlisle) Parker was born February 11, 1936 in Malawi (then Nyasaland). His mother returned with him to Kenya to be close to her family after Ian's father joined the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Parker attended Cheltenham College (England), returning to Kenya in 1953 without going on to university. He worked as a laborer on a dairy farm until he was old enough to enlist with the Kenya Regiment during the Mau Mau uprising. He subsequently held several colonial administrative positions in rural Kenya. Before he was 20 years old he was given responsibility for important aspects of the lives of as many as 10,000 people. These experiences gave him confidence and leadership skills that Parker himself noted weren't common to those with a university education.

In 1956 Parker became a Game Warden with the Kenya Game Department. Early in his career, Parker explains, he "broke ranks and advocated allowing Africans to hunt rather than treating them as poachers." This approach led to the creation of the Galana Game Management Scheme in 1960, arguably the earliest and largest community conservation project in Africa. While it failed in 1964, the experiment is documented by the materials in this collection.

After eight years as Game Warden, Parker resigned in 1964 and started Wildlife Services, Ltd. with his wife Christine Mowat Parker and four friends as partners. Theirs was the first wildlife research and management consultancy in East Africa. Parker had frequent contact with East African government conservation departments through his role in the company. While working in many areas relating to wildlife, Wildlife Services became best known internationally for undertaking a series of large scale elephant culling operations from 1965 to 1969 in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. This was the first time such work was attempted. The data collected were used to produce many scientific publications.

Managing the sale of ivory produced by culling projects gave Parker contacts and experience in the ivory trade, which he continued to investigate through commissions on behalf of those with national, commercial, and conservation interests. He researched the history, scope, scale, and value of the trade, its varying market practices across the continent and internationally, as well as the influence of political corruption and illegal trade on conservation practices and prospects. Parker became a recognized authority on the provenance of ivory stocks through forensic observation, and an expert on ivory distribution and markets.

After closing Wildlife Services, Ltd. in 1976, Parker continued his work as an independent consultant, ivory broker to governments and businesses, and advocate of wildlife product monetization practices that support conservation and economically benefit African communities. He represented several ivory trader associations' proposals regarding the international trade to the third and fourth Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) biennial conferences. With over 50 years working in wildlife conservation, management, and development, Ian Parker retired in 2011, moving from Nairobi to Australia with his wife.


Additional resources:

Ian Parker Collection of East African Wildlife Conservation: Elephant data sheets A project is ongoing to transcribe the biological data contained on the 3,175 sheets collected from 1965-1969 (internal library mini grant proposal available online:

Selected materials in the East African Professional Hunters Association Records have been digitized and are available online:


References cited and further reading

Brosius, J. Peter, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, and Charles Zerner (eds.). 2005. Communities and conservation: Histories and politics of community-based natural resource management. Walnut Creek, Calif.: AltaMira Press.

Laws, Richard M., I. S. C. Parker, and Ronald C. B. Johnstone. 1975. Elephants and their habitats: The ecology of elephants in North Bunyoro, Uganda. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press.

Parker, Ian S.C. 1964. "The Galana Game Management Scheme." Journal of Epizootic Disease of East Africa 12: 21-31.

-----. 2004. What I tell you three times is true: ivory, conservation, history and politics. Kinloss: Librario.



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