Bushmeat Hunting, Wildlife Declines, and Fish Supply in West Africa

Conservation Biology Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 11/2004; 306(5699):1180-3. DOI: 10.1126/science.1102425
Source: PubMed


The multibillion-dollar trade in bushmeat is among the most immediate threats to the persistence of tropical vertebrates, but our understanding of its underlying drivers and effects on human welfare is limited by a lack of empirical data. We used 30 years of data from Ghana to link mammal declines to the bushmeat trade and to spatial and temporal changes in the availability of fish. We show that years of poor fish supply coincided with increased hunting in nature reserves and sharp declines in biomass of 41 wildlife species. Local market data provide evidence of a direct link between fish supply and subsequent bushmeat demand in villages and show bushmeat's role as a dietary staple in the region. Our results emphasize the urgent need to develop cheap protein alternatives to bushmeat and to improve fisheries management by foreign and domestic fleets to avert extinctions of tropical wildlife.

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    • "Later, agro-ecosystem analysis (Conway 1985) and rapid and PRA approaches (Chambers 2008) were added to the repertoire, expanding the range of methods and styles of field engagement. Numerous studies have used HH surveys to determine the important of forest products to rural communities (Falconer, 1994; Townson, 1995; Van Dijk, 1999; Ambrose-Oji, 2003; Brashares et al., 2004; East et al., 2005; Degrande et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Short title: Options and strategies for livelihood sustainability This paper examines the options and strategies for livelihood sustainability in mountainous region. Three villages of the upper Minjiang River basin, Sichuan province, China, were studied based on their altitudes and distances from the road. These villages are characterized by high landscape vulnerability and fragility, as this area is prone to severe natural hazards mainly flash floods and earthquakes. Sustainable livelihoods approach was applied and a household level survey was carried out to gather data on livelihood capitals such as natural, human, financial, physical and social. The ecological services are abundant in the form of water and forest resources and agro-ecological conditions provide a suitable base for horticultural farming, which is already in practice. Farming land is limited and cultivation is carried out mainly on the terraced fields. Suitability in the climatic conditions further enhances the scope for tourism development. Economic and social factors vary with altitudes and distance from the urban centres. Community participation and institutional support in the developmental processes is remarkable in all three locations. This study reveals that the future sustainability of livelihoods is dependent on all above-mentioned capitals, particularly on the optimal use of natural resources, horticultural farming and tourism.
    • "Such drivers of bushmeat consumption need to be understood if demand-focused conservation interventions are to succeed in reducing pressures on wildlife populations. Furthermore, it is important to be able to predict the effects of externally driven changes in the price or availability of substitutes like fish or domestic livestock, so as to act proactively in the face of changes in substitute prices (Brashares et al., 2004). Evidence on the determinants of the demand for bushmeat is to date rather limited. "
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    ABSTRACT: Illegal hunting for bushmeat is regarded as an important cause of biodiversity decline in Africa. We use a ‘stated preferences’ method to obtain information on determinants of demand for bushmeat and two other protein sources, fish and chicken, in villages around the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Our study focuses particularly on the impact of price changes, as anticipating and understanding the impact of price changes (whether caused by conservation interventions or market changes) on demand for bushmeat enables effective responses to be planned. We estimate the effects of changes in the price of bushmeat and in the prices of two substitute protein sources – fish and chicken – on household demand for bushmeat. Results suggest that increasing the availability of lower priced protein substitutes would reduce demand for bushmeat, and therefore, potentially pressure on wildlife populations. However, raising the price of bushmeat (e.g. as a result of reducing illegal hunting) would reduce household demand to a greater degree than equivalent decreases in the price of alternative protein sources. In both cases, elasticity of demand parameters are reported, which summarize the relative response to households to these alternative interventions. A 10% rise in bushmeat prices would reduce demand by around 6–7%, while a 10% fall in chicken or fish prices would reduce bushmeat demand by around 3–4%. The response to price changes varied between ethnic groups, and also according to household size (with the direction of the effect depending on whether the substitute was chicken or fish), but was not significantly affected by wealth or income.
    Animal Conservation 08/2015; 18(4). DOI:10.1111/acv.12184 · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    • "This is the result of a high fish demand, and the combination of a stable political environment and its commissioning of the only commercial fish feed mill in West Africa (Ainoo-Ansah, 2013; Frimpong et al., 2014). The country derives a majority of its dietary protein from fish (Brashares et al., 2004), with an estimated per capita fish consumption of 20–30 kg per annum in 2009 (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2012). This is higher than the global estimate of about 18 kg (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2012). "
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