A U.S. hunting organization is auctioning off a licence to kill a black rhino — a move organizers at the Dallas Safari Club say will help conserve the critically endangered animals.

The group expects perhaps half a dozen big-game hunters with equally big wallets will bid on the licence, which is expected to fetch as much as $1 million US.

The hunter will be allowed to kill one male black rhino in Namibia that is too old to reproduce. The money will go toward conservation efforts in Namibia, organizer John J. Jackson III said during a recent interview on CBC Radio’s As It Happens.

Such rhinos continue to fight and kill one another long after they are “post-reproductive,” Jackson explained, saying that keeping them alive does more harm than good for conservation efforts.

The auction will “protect the rhino by eliminating the bad guy,” he said.

There are perhaps 5,000 black rhinos left in the world, mainly in a handful of African countries including South Africa and Namibia. The government of Namibia is co-operating with the auction.

“If you can do something to keep them alive a little longer, and give them a chance to reproduce, you serve the population,” said Jackson.