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Bushmeat Supply and Consumption in a Tropical Logging Concession in Northern Congo


Abstract and Figures

Unsustainable hunting of wildlife for food empties tropical forests of many species critical to forest maintenance and livelihoods of forest people. Extractive industries, including logging, can accelerate exploitation of wildlife by opening forests to hunters and creating markets for bushmeat. We monitored human demographics, bushmeat supply in markets, and household bushmeat consumption in five logging towns in the northern Republic of Congo. Over 6 years we recorded 29,570 animals in town markets and collected 48,920 household meal records. Development of industrial logging operations led to a 69% increase in the population of logging towns and a 64% increase in bushmeat supply. The immigration of workers, jobseekers, and their families altered hunting patterns and was associated with increased use of wire snares and increased diversity in the species hunted and consumed. Immigrants hunted 72% of all bushmeat, which suggests the short-term benefits of hunting accrue disproportionately to "outsiders" to the detriment of indigenous peoples who have prior, legitimate claims to wildlife resources. Our results suggest that the greatest threat of logging to biodiversity may be the permanent urbanization of frontier forests. Although enforcement of hunting laws and promotion of alternative sources of protein may help curb the pressure on wildlife, the best strategy for biodiversity conservation may be to keep saw mills and the towns that develop around them out of forests.
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Contributed Paper
Bushmeat Supply and Consumption in a Tropical
Logging Concession in Northern Congo
Department of Biology, P.O. Box 11852, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-8525, U.S.A.
†Wildlife Conservation Society, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo
Abstract: Unsustainable hunting of wildlife for food empties tropical forests of many species critical to
forest maintenance and livelihoods of forest people. Extractive industries, including logging, can accelerate
exploitation of wildlife by opening forests to hunters and creating markets for bushmeat. We monitored
human demographics, bushmeat supply in markets, and household bushmeat consumption in five logging
towns in the northern Republic of Congo. Over 6 years we recorded 29,570 animals in town markets and
collected 48,920 household meal records. Development of industrial logging operations led to a 69% increase
in the population of logging towns and a 64% increase in bushmeat supply. The immigration of workers,
jobseekers, and their families altered hunting patterns and was associated with increased use of wire snares
and increased diversity in the species hunted and consumed. Immigrants hunted 72% of all bushmeat,
which suggests the short-term benefits of hunting accrue disproportionately to “outsiders” to the detriment of
indigenous peoples who have prior, legitimate claims to wildlife resources. Our results suggest that the greatest
threat of logging to biodiversity may be the permanent urbanization of frontier forests. Although enforcement
of hunting laws and promotion of alternative sources of protein may help curb the pressure on wildlife, the best
strategy for biodiversity conservation may be to keep saw mills and the towns that develop around them out
of forests.
Keywords: biodiversity conservation, bushmeat, Congo, household diet, logging, tropical forest, wildlife
Acopio y Consumo de Carne Silvestre en una Concesi´
on Maderera Tropical en el Norte de Congo
Resumen: La cacer´
ıa no sustentable de vida silvestre para alimento vac´
ıa los bosques tropicales de muchas
especies cr´
ıticas para el mantenimiento del bosque y las formas de vida de habitantes del bosque. Las industrias
extractivas, incluyendo la tala, pueden acelerar la explotaci´
on de vida silvestre al abrir los bosques a cazadores
y creando mercados para carne silvestre. Monitoreamos la demograf´
ıa humana, el acopio de carne silvestre en
los mercados y el consumo de carne silvestre por familia en cinco pueblos madereros en el norte de la Rep´
del Congo. Durante seis a˜
nos, registramos 29,570 animales en los mercados y colectamos 48,920 registros
de alimento familiar. El desarrollo de operaciones madereras industriales condujo a un incremento de 69%
en la poblaci´
on de los poblados y un incremento de 60% en el acopio de carne silvestre. La inmigraci´
de trabajadores, buscadores de empleo, y sus familias alter´
ıa y se asoci´
o con un
incremento en el uso de trampas de alambre e increment´
o la diversidad de las especies cazadas y consumidas.
Los inmigrantes cazaron 72% de toda la carne silvestre, lo que sugiere que los beneficios a corto plazo de la
ıa corresponden desproporcionadamente a “fuere˜
nos” en detrimento de los pobladores ind´
ıgenas que
tienen derechos leg´
ıtimos previos sobre los recursos de vida silvestre. Nuestros resultados sugieren que la
mayor amenaza de la industria maderera a la biodiversidad puede ser la urbanizaci´
on permanente de los
bosques de frontera. Aunque la aplicaci´
on de las leyes cineg´
eticas y la promoci´
on de fuentes alternativas de
ına pueden ayudar a reducir la presi´
on sobre la vida silvestre, la mejor estrategia para la conservaci´
Paper submitted November 13, 2008; revised manuscript accepted February 25, 2009.
Conservation Biology,Volume23,No.6,15971608
"2009 Society for Conservation Biology
DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01251.x
1598 Bushmeat in Logging Concessions
de la biodiversidad es evitar que los aserraderos y los poblados que se desarrollan alrededor de ellos queden
en los bosques.
Palabras Clave: bosque tropical, carne silvestre, Congo, conservaci´
on de la biodiversidad, dieta familiar, tala,
vida silvestre
Overhunting of wildlife for meat across the humid trop-
ics is causing population declines and local extinctions
of numerous species (Fa et al. 2001; Cortlett 2007; Peres
& Palacios 2007). The statistics are unsettling: 60% of
the most common game species in the Congo Basin are
hunted unsustainably (Fa et al. 2002), with total harvest
of bushmeat in the basin estimated at 1–5 million tons an-
nually (Wilkie & Carpenter 1999; Fa et al. 2002). The loss
of animals and species has consequences for ecological
processes that drive forest dynamics (e.g., Wright et al.
2007; Terborgh et al. 2008) and for the rural people who
depend on wild meat as a source of protein and rev-
enue (Davies 2002; Bowen-Jones et al. 2003). Thus for-
est regeneration and biodiversity are compromised by
overhunting and so are the livelihoods of forest-dwelling
The drivers of overhunting in the tropics are well
known. Expanding road networks fragment the forest,
opening it to a growing rural population armed with guns
and wire snares (Noss 1998; Robinson et al. 1999; Wilkie
et al. 2000). In frontier forests, where people have no his-
tory of commercial agriculture or logging, people exploit
the most accessible and abundant resource—wildlife.
Once roads provide access to markets, bushmeat be-
comes a market commodity, transforming hunting from a
subsistence to a commercial activity. These factors collide
and are potentially accelerated by the large-scale opera-
tions of extractive industries, including mining, industrial
agriculture, and logging. Fueled partially by emerging
economies in China and India, the demand for natural
resources and the accompanying rise in prices expand
the operations of extractive industries and the pressure
on wildlife throughout the tropics (Butler & Laurance
In central Africa selective logging is the most extensive
extractive industry, with logging concessions occupying
30–45% of all tropical forests and over 70% of forests
in some countries (Global Forest Watch 2002; Laporte
et al. 2007). The rate of road construction for logging
has increased dramatically in the last decade, potentially
opening an additional 29% of central African forests to in-
creased hunting pressure (Laporte et al. 2007). Logging
trucks carry bushmeat and hunters, reducing the produc-
tion costs of the hunter and increasing labor efficiency
through the rapid transport of wild meat to markets
(Wilkie & Carpenter 1999; Wilkie et al. 2000). Forestry
companies pay relatively high wages, thereby growing
the local economy and attracting large numbers of peo-
ple (workers, family members, and traders) into areas
that were formerly sparsely populated (Wilkie & Carpen-
ter 1999). Partially because logging typically takes place
in remote forests (i.e., away from urban markets, agricul-
ture, and ranching), most companies fail to provide their
workers with animal protein, so they survive on bush-
meat. Thus logging unites multiple threats to wildlife over
large areas, and as timber is extracted from the forest, so
is the wildlife.
Despite the realization that logging facilitates hunt-
ing, there are few quantitative studies that examine the
bushmeat trade within concessions (but see Fimbel et al.
2001). In the face of expansion of industrial logging in the
tropics, conservation efforts will benefit from a greater
understanding of how forestry affects the use of wildlife
and the strength of its impact (Butler & Laurance 2008).
We quantified the supply of bushmeat and consumption
of animal protein (bushmeat, freshwater fish, and im-
ported meat) over 6 years in five logging towns in the
northern Republic of Congo. Specifically we asked: How
does industrial logging influence human demographics
in frontier forest? To what degree do demographic differ-
ences among logging towns affect the supply of bushmeat
and patterns of hunting? And what factors determine the
consumption of animal protein in logging towns (e.g.,
season, ethnic origin, principal economic activity, and
Study Site
We conducted our study in three logging concessions
(Kabo, Pokola, and Loundoungou/Toukoulaka) in the
northern Republic of Congo. The concessions covered
12,000 km2of forest adjacent to the Nouabal´
e-Ndoki Na-
tional Park (NNNP) and the Sangha trinational network of
protected areas. The forests of this region support high
diversity of plant and animal species (Harris & Wortley
2008; Clark et al. 2009). Although selective logging has
occurred in the area since the 1960s, operations were rel-
atively limited until the end of civil war in 1997, which
resulted in a rapid expansion of the sector, opening of
concessions, and construction of roads by large commer-
cial operators (Laporte et al. 2007). The Congolaise In-
dustrielle des Bois (CIB) logging company has harvested
timber in the three concessions with low-intensity (<2.5
Conservation Biology
Volume 23, No. 6, 2009
Poulsen et al. 1599
trees/ha), selective, reduced-impact logging techniques
(CIB 2006). The Forest Stewardship Council certified the
Kabo and Pokola concessions in 2006 and 2008 for hav-
ing good environmental, social, and logging practices;
certification of Loundoungou/Toukoulaka is under way.
The study area historically supported a low human pop-
ulation density (<0.5 km2) of indigenous Mbendz´
e pyg-
mies, who subsisted as semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers,
and indigenous Bantu communities, who practiced sub-
sistence fishing and hunting. Over the past 5 decades
these communities established several permanent
settlements along the Sangha and Motaba rivers. Within
the past decade CIB constructed sawmills and offices in
two towns, Pokola and Kabo, and established three ad-
ditional forest towns, Ndoki 1, Ndoki 2, and Loundoun-
gou to house the cutting teams that were transported
back and forth from the forest each day: traders, farm-
ers, hunters, and job seekers settled with the workers
and their families. In 1999 CIB, the Wildlife Conservation
Society, and the Government of Congo formed a partner-
ship, the Buffer Zone Project (BZP; Projet de Gestion des
emes P´
eriques au Parc National de Nouabal´
Ndoki [PROGEPP] in French) to mitigate the deleterious
impacts of logging on wildlife in the CIB logging con-
cessions and in NNNP (Elkan et al. 2006; Poulsen et al.
2007). Through this project several explicit conservation
activities were implemented, including enforcement of
Congolese wildlife laws, land-use planning for hunting
and resource use, conservation education, development
of alternative activities to replace hunting, and monitor-
ing of large mammal populations. These activities were
developed or ongoing during this research.
Census of Human Populations and Market Availability
of Bushmeat
To assess the relationship between demographic change,
hunting patterns, bushmeat supply in towns, and con-
sumption of animal protein, we conducted annual cen-
suses in the logging towns. Between January and March,
from 2000 to 2006, BZP research assistants mapped and
assigned a unique number to every house in all five towns.
The head of each household was interviewed to deter-
mine the ethnicity, age, education level, relationship, and
occupation of all household residents.
To determine factors that influence the biomass and
species composition of bushmeat in each logging town
over seasons and time, we monitored bushmeat supply in
markets for 10 (Kabo, Ndoki 1, Ndoki 2, and Loundoun-
gou) or 20 (Pokola) randomly selected days each month
from 2000 to 2006. Each town had a single bushmeat
market, but a portion of the hunted meat was carried
directly to households. Therefore research assistants vis-
ited markets in the morning when they were most active
and before bushmeat had been sold. They observed the
principal trails and roads entering each town for 2 h in
the evening when hunters tended to return from the
forest. On consecutive days of sampling, research assis-
tants avoided double counting bushmeat by asking mar-
ket women the name of the hunter that supplied them
with meat. At each place they recorded the species of ani-
mal, condition (fresh or smoked or whole or part), means
of capture (gun, cable trap, spear, net, or crossbow),
means of transport (canoe, foot, bike, or motor vehicle),
sale price, and ethnicity and principal economic activity
of the hunter. For a subset of these observations the car-
cass (or marketed body part of the animal) was weighed.
We used average weights to estimate the total biomass
(kilograms) arriving in the town. We converted the num-
ber of observations to biomass because it allowed us to
account for observations of partial animals (e.g., hind
quarters of a duiker).
Animal Protein in Household Meals
To understand the factors that influence consumption of
animal protein (bushmeat, freshwater fish, and imported
meat) in the logging towns, we conducted consumption
surveys for 10 (Kabo, Loundoungou, Ndoki 1, and Ndoki
2) or 20 (Pokola) randomly selected households (new
households were randomly selected each month without
replacement) on 10 randomly selected days each month
from 2000 to 2006. Research assistants visited households
in the afternoon, recording detailed information about
the composition of the principal meal of the day, includ-
ing the unit price of animal protein, species of bushmeat,
principal economic activity of the family, and ethnicity
of the head of the household.
For data analysis we classified people from outside
Congo as foreigners, people from a different region of
Congo as migrants, and people born in northern Congo
as indigenous. We use the term immigrant to mean both
foreigners and migrants combined. Indigenous peoples
include several Bantu groups and Mbendz´
e pygmies.
We discuss some issues particular to the Mbendz´
cause their culture and lifestyle often separates them
from both immigrant and indigenous Bantu. We also
classified bushmeat species into functional groups (see
Supporting Information). For analyses, species within
functional groups with few observations (i.e., carnivores,
large mammals, birds, and small mammals) were catego-
rized as either small- to medium-bodied species (<15 kg)
or large-bodied species (>15 kg).
Statistical Analyses
Our analyses focused on factors that would explain the
biomass of bushmeat found in logging towns and the
presence of animal protein (bushmeat, freshwater fish,
or imported meat) in household diets. We examined
the effect of time (1–78 months), season (dry season,
Conservation Biology
Volume 23, No. 6, 2009
1600 Bushmeat in Logging Concessions
short rainy season, and long rainy season), origin of the
hunter or head of the household (indigene, migrant,
and foreigner), occupation (logging company employee,
salaried worker, laborer, and unemployed), and price of
the meat. For bushmeat data, with biomass as the re-
sponse variable, we fitted linear mixed models (LMMs)
after examining plots of residuals for the assumptions of
normality. For diet data, with the presence or absence
of bushmeat, fish, or domestic meat as the response vari-
able, we fitted and evaluated generalized linear mixed
models (GLMMs), with a binary error distribution and
logit link for each protein type. For both LMMs and
GLMMs we used Laplace approximation (lme4 package;
Bates and Sakar 2007) for maximum likelihood estima-
tion of the parameters (Bolker et al. 2009). To account
for potential correlations between years and months, we
treated them as random effects: random factors in mixed
models are equivalent to the block structure in analysis of
variance. Akaike’s information criterion (AIC) was used
to compare the goodness of fit of models. We used a dif-
ference of four AIC points as the cutoff among models
(Burnham & Anderson 2002). The statistical significance
of individual fixed effects was tested with tstatistics for
LMMs and zstatistics for GLMMs; however, we emphasize
the effect size of model parameters rather than their sta-
Figure 1. Annual biomass of
bushmeat entering logging towns
versus the combined populations
of the towns. Bars are
bootstrapped 95% CIs. Inset graph
shows human population by
logging town from 2000 to 2006.
tistical significance because our large sample sizes may
result in statistically significant effects that are biologi-
cally unimportant. All statistical analyses and graphing
were performed with R Language, (version 2.7.1; R De-
velopment Core Team 2008).
Effects of Industrial Logging on Human Demographics
The population of the five logging towns grew by 69.6%
(10,122 to 17,164 people) from 2000 to 2006 (Fig. 1).
This population boom was largely the result of immigra-
tion from other parts of Congo: 69% of new logging town
residents were migrants, 18% were foreigners, and 13%
were indigenous. In addition to immigration into the con-
cessions, changes in the populations of towns were some-
times the result of logging operations. In 2004 logging
operations expanded into the Loundoungou Concession,
creating the Loundoungou logging town. In 2005 work-
ers were moved from Ndoki 2 to Kabo, although Ndoki 2
remained occupied by settlers who stayed to farm cassava
fields (which demonstrates the lasting effect of logging
camps as permanent settlements in previously unsettled
forest). The growth of Pokola by 5000 people resulted
Conservation Biology
Volume 23, No. 6, 2009
Poulsen et al. 1601
Table 1. Bushmeat data (animals observed during the survey of markets and principal roads) and household meal records from five logging towns
in northern Republic of Congo.
Logging townsb
Data categoriesaKabo Loundoungou Ndoki 1 Ndoki 2 Pokola total
Bushmeat records
no. of animals recorded 2,907 1,144 4,439 2,213 18,866 29,570
months of survey 67 24 69 69 71
guns (%) 94 88 87 91 58 70
other techniques (%) 1 1 3 4 4 3
wire snares (%) 5 11 10 5 39 26
indigenes (%) 20 70 56 91 7 28
migrants (%) 76 27 44 9 57 52
foreigners (%) 4 3 0 0 36 20
fresh carcasses (%) 95 99 96 99 64 78
smoked carcasses (%) 4 1 2 1 35 21
Meal records
no. of meals 6,268 3,394 9,868 7,313 22,077 48,920
months of survey 66 24 67 66 67
with animal protein (%) 91 88 94 93 94 93
with fish (%) 60 47 47 47 49 49
with bushmeat (%) 30 47 50 45 41 42
with domestic meat (%) 3 5 2 5 7 5
indigenes (%) 25 31 38 23 40 34
migrants (%) 73 65 61 70 56 62
foreigners (%) 2 4 1 8 4 4
logging employees (%) 48 76 38 68 47 53
hunters (%) 8 9 10 17 3 8
laborers (%) 10 12 49 12 30 25
salaried workers (%) 23 3 2 2 3 4
unemployed (%) 11 0 1 1 17 10
aBushmeat data are presented as the proportion of all animals killed with different hunting techniques by hunters of different ethnic origins
and by condition of the carcass in the market. Household meal data are presented as the proportion of all meals of different types of animal
proteins consumed on the basis of ethnic origin and principal household economic activity. Bushmeat in the meal records came from several
species groups: duiker (13,792; 28.0%), monkey (1,744; 3.6%), pig (1,686; 3.4%), and reptile (1,221; 2.5%); small- to medium-bodied species
(633; 1.3%); insect (534; 1.1%); and large species (188; 0.4%).
bAll towns were sampled from the beginning of 2000 through 2005, except for Loundoungou, which was established in 2004.
from a combination of expanded sawmill operations and
the immigration of people to take advantage of public ser-
vices provided by the company (e.g., electricity, water,
and hospital).
Effects of Demography on Hunting and Bushmeat Supply
We recorded 29,570 animals (approximately 345,119 kg
of dressed bushmeat) in markets and along trails into
the five logging towns (Table 1). Two species of duik-
ers were the most common species found in markets
(Cephalophus callipygus and C. monticola), and they
made up 62.6% of observations of all species. After duik-
ers, monkeys, bushpigs, and reptiles were the most ob-
served species groups (Supporting Information). On av-
erage 354 kg of bushmeat arrived in the five towns per
day (total of 129 tons [95% CI 124.3–133.6] of bushmeat
annually). The total biomass of bushmeat was positively
related to populations of the five logging towns (Fig. 1).
The size of towns and number of immigrants affected
dynamics of the bushmeat trade. Because foreigners
hunted <5% of the bushmeat in all towns except Pokola,
we compared immigrants (foreigners and migrants) and
indigenes. Immigrants hunted 70% of all bushmeat arriv-
ing in all towns; most of the immigrant-hunted meat was
observed in Kabo and Pokola (Table 1). Hunting tech-
niques varied by size of town, ethnicity, and principal
economic activity (Table 1). Hunters typically shot prey
with shotguns (range 87.4–94.0%). In Pokola (93% im-
migrants), however, only 58.1% of animals were hunted
with guns and 39.9% were trapped with snares (range
5.3–11.0% in the other towns). When treated by eth-
nicity immigrants caught 30.4% of animals with snares
and killed 66.2% with guns, whereas indigenous people
snared 5.7% of animals and shot 92.1%. Logging company
workers hunted with guns 94.7% of the time, whereas
hunters (people who identified hunting as their principal
economic activity) and noncompany workers used guns
86.5% and 69.1% of the time, respectively. Noncompany
workers included refugees from the Democratic Repub-
lic of Congo drawn to Pokola for economic opportunities
(working as laborers for logging company employees),
and they were known to be active snare hunters. In fact
14.5% of the population of Pokola was foreigners, but
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Volume 23, No. 6, 2009
1602 Bushmeat in Logging Concessions
they hunted 37.8% of all bushmeat. Finally bushmeat in
Pokola was much more likely to be smoked than in other
towns (Table 1).
In a comparison of bushmeat arriving in logging towns
in 2000 and 2005 the proportion of snared animals in-
creased substantially in all towns (Table 2). The pro-
portion of smoked carcasses increased significantly from
2000 to 2005 in Kabo, Pokola, and Ndoki 1, and the
proportion of animals hunted by immigrants increased
significantly for Pokola.
Both the total mass of bushmeat and the mass by
species group varied with town identity, time, ethnicity,
and hunting technique (Fig. 2). For most species the hunt-
ing technique had a relatively large effect, which suggests
hunting methods used varied among the species groups.
Relative to immigrants, indigenous hunters harvested
fewer small- to medium-bodied species and more duik-
ers. Substantially higher biomass of total bushmeat and
duikers, reptiles, and small- to medium-bodied species
arrived in Pokola compared with other towns. This pop-
ulous town contributed to the intensity of hunting and
breadth of species targeted.
Factors Determining Consumption of Animal Protein
Over 6 years we accumulated 48,920 household meal
records. The proportion of meals containing animal pro-
tein varied by season and town. Meals in the long rainy
season were 30% less likely to contain animal protein than
in the dry season (GLMM, Z=2.78, p=0.005); Pokola
(GLMM, Z =7.50, p=6.6 ×1014), Ndoki 1 (GLMM,
Z=7.52, p=5.6 ×1014), and Ndoki 2 (GLMM, Z
=2.17, p=0.03) were more likely to contain animal
protein than Kabo and Loundoungou (GLMM, Z =4.60,
p=4.2 ×106). The proportion of meals containing
animal protein in each town was high, varying between
88% (Loundoungou) and 94% (Pokola and Ndoki 1; Table
1). Of the meals containing animal protein the major-
ity were consumed by migrant and company-employee
households (Table 1). Of meals without animal protein
75.3% were in indigenous households, which lacked an-
Table 2. Comparisons of bushmeat supply and consumption between 2000 and 2005 in four logging towns.a
Hunted animalsbBushmeat consumptionc
snares smoked meat migrants migrants logging employees
town 2000 2005 2000 2005 2000 2005 2000 2005 2000 2005
Kabo 0.07 0.67∗∗a0.04 0.15∗∗ 0.81 0.94∗∗ 0.72 0.80 0.02 0.48∗∗
Ndoki 1 0.06 0.17∗∗ 0.03 0.21∗∗ 0.53 NA 0.61 0.70 NA 0.47
Ndoki 2 0.02 0.10∗∗ 0.01 0.67 0.16 0.08 0.67 0.86 0.63 0.67
Pokola 0.02 0.160.09 0.45∗∗ 0.88 0.61 0.71 0.66 0.44 0.52
aData were analyzed as generalized linear mixed models, with month as a random effect and year (2000 or 2005) as a fixed effect.
Significance: ∗∗p<0.01; p<0.05; NA, missing data for that village and year.
bProportion of animals caught in snares, smoked, and hunted by migrants.
cProportion of bushmeat consumed by migrants and logging employees.
imal protein in 15% of their meals. Mbendz´
e house-
holds made up 93.0% of the indigenous meals lacking an-
imal protein, with 38.6% of their meals containing bush-
meat, 36.5% containing fish, and 20.6% lacking animal
The proportion of meals containing bushmeat, fish,
and domestic meat fluctuated over the year and varied by
town (Fig. 3). Pooling all towns, the proportion of fish in
meals was negatively correlated with the proportion of
bushmeat (r=0.730, CI =0.78 to 0.67, t=18.0,
df =280, p=<2.2e16). People consumed less bush-
meat during the dry season when fish was readily avail-
able. The proportions of fish and bushmeat in household
meals were also negatively correlated at the town level;
the correlation coefficient fell between –0.47 (Kabo) and
–0.91 (Loundoungou). The consumption of domestic
meat was negatively correlated with fish (r=0.13, CI
=0.250–0.004, t=2.0, df =244, p=0.048), but not
bushmeat (r=0.09, CI =0.21–0.039, t=1.4, df =
243, p=0.174).
The presence of bushmeat, fish, and domestic meat in
meals depended on the ethnic origin and principal eco-
nomic activity of the head of the household and logging
town (Table 3). The presence of bushmeat was about
20% greater in indigenous households than in migrant
or foreign households; thus, when meals of indigenous
households contained animal protein, it tended to be
bushmeat. Likewise, meals of people who claimed hunt-
ing was their principal activity contained bushmeat more
regularly than meals of people with other occupations.
Bushmeat consumption was approximately 20% lower
during the dry season, when the proportion of meals
containing fish was highest. Foreigners were about 2.5
times more likely to consume domestic meat than mi-
grants who were twice as likely to consume it as indige-
nous people. Domestic meat was also consumed more
frequently by company workers and people with salaried
jobs than people with nonsalaried livelihoods.
For all three protein types price and time had a smaller
effect on consumption patterns than town, ethnicity, and
economic activity (as indicated by the small effect size;
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Volume 23, No. 6, 2009
Poulsen et al. 1603
Figure 2. Effects of time (month), town (Pokola, Ndoki 1, Ndoki 2, Loundoungou [Lound], and Kabo), hunting
technique, and ethnicity (Ind, indigenes) on the biomass (kilograms) of several species groups of bushmeat (large
species, elephant, ape, buffalo, bongo, and sitatunga; small- to medium-bodied, rodent, pangolin, bird, and small
carnivore). Effect sizes are results from generalized linear mixed models for each species group, with months as
random effects, and are presented with 95% CIs; those that do not overlap the dotted vertical line are statistically
different from zero. The variables not shown in the figure are Kabo, guns, and migrants, and they had an
estimate of zero and serve as contrasts. Month is an index for time and tests whether the amount of bushmeat of a
species group increased or decreased over the 6 years of monitoring. CIs of month are all positive and do not
overlap zero for all species, duikers, large species, pigs, and reptiles; however, the effect is very small.
Table 3). Price did not affect the proportion of meals
with bushmeat, but lower fish prices led to higher fish
consumption. Higher domestic meat prices led to higher
consumption of domestic meat. The choice was made
to buy a kilogram of meat at the butcher shop rather
than buying 0.25–0.50 kg of domestic meat in the open
market. Bushmeat and domestic meat consumption in-
creased over the study period, whereas fish consumption
decreased, but the effects were small.
The presence of different species groups of bushmeat
in household diets varied by ethnic group, season, and
town as well as over time (Fig. 3). Notably, meals of in-
digenous households contained duikers and insects about
1.2 and 4.9 times more frequently than the meals of for-
eigners and migrants and contained lower amounts of
most other species groups. Households in Pokola more
frequently ate small- to medium-bodied species, reptiles,
and large-bodied species than households in the other
towns (with the exception of small- to medium-bodied
species in Ndoki 1), but they ate common bushmeat
species groups such as duikers and pigs less often. Higher
proportions of duikers and insects were consumed dur-
ing the rainy seasons than in the dry season. Finally
consumption of duikers, forest pigs, reptiles, and large
species increased over the course of the study; only con-
sumption of monkeys decreased.
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Volume 23, No. 6, 2009
1604 Bushmeat in Logging Concessions
Figure 3. Effects of time (month), town (Pokola, Ndoki 1, Ndoki 2, Loundoungou [Lound], and Kabo), season (SR,
short rainy; LR, long rainy), and ethnicity (For, foreign; Ind, indigenes) on the presence of bushmeat in household
meals by species groups (large species, elephant, ape, buffalo, bongo, and sitatunga; small- to medium-bodied
species, rodents, pangolins, birds, and small carnivores). Effect sizes are results from generalized linear mixed
models for each species group, with months as random effects. Effect sizes are odds ratios with 95% CIs; those that
do not overlap the dotted vertical line are statistically different from 1. The variables without plotted effect sizes
are Kabo, dry season, and migrants, and they have an estimate of 1 and serve as contrasts. Month is an index for
time and examines whether the proportional representation of a species group increased or decreased over the 6
years of monitoring. The effect of month is small, but statistically significant and positive for duikers, pigs, reptiles,
and large species; only consumption of monkeys declined over time.
Local human population growth stimulated by indus-
trial logging activities altered the demographics of ru-
ral communities in northern Congo, which influenced
patterns of bushmeat supply and consumption. Over 6
years the populations of five logging towns rose by an
average of 69%, and the biomass of bushmeat in those
towns increased by 64%. The immigration of workers,
jobseekers, and their families into logging concessions
influenced hunting dynamics, altering who hunted, what
they hunted, and how they hunted and transported their
prey. Immigrants (migrants and foreigners) harvested
72% of animals recorded in markets and along principal
entry routes into logging towns and consumed 66% of all
Impacts of Logging on Bushmeat
In tropical frontier forests, where people depend on for-
est resources and alternatives to wild meat and fish for
protein are often lacking, the positive relationship be-
tween population growth and bushmeat is not surprising.
Greater numbers of mouths to feed lead to greater levels
of hunting. Yet our results demonstrate that urbaniza-
tion of previously small forest communities, as a result of
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Volume 23, No. 6, 2009
Poulsen et al. 1605
Table 3. Results of generalized linear mixed models of household diet data that examined the factors explaining the presence of fish, bushmeat, and domestic meat in meals.
Meals with fish Meals with bushmeat Meals with domestic meat
Variablesaest. SE Zp est. SE Zp est. SE Zp
Intercept 0.051 0.093 0.54 0.588 0.465 0.093 4.99 6.0 ×1074.44 0.255 17.4 <2×1016
indigenous 0.152 0.032 4.71 2.5 ×1060.195 0.033 5.98 2.20 ×1090.797 0.089 8.98 <2×1016
foreigner 0.215 0.056 3.85 1.2 ×1040.489 0.06 8.15 3.70 ×1016 0.912 0.093 9.85 <2×1016
logging 0.698 0.069 10.09 <2×1016 0.566 0.067 8.5 <2×1016 0.435 0.212 2.05 0.04
emp. 0.957 0.087 11.01 <2×1016 0.926 0.087 10.6 <2×1016 0.718 0.235 3.05 0.002
trade 0.992 0.07 14.09 <2×1016 0.921 0.068 13.5 <2×1016 0.254 0.214 1.18 0.236
unemp. 0.564 0.07 14.09 2.6 ×1012 0.314 0.079 3.99 6.5 ×1050.091 0.236 0.39 0.7
long rainy 0.218 0.042 5.23 1.7 ×1070.186 0.042 4.42 9.7 ×1060.13 0.075 1.75 0.081
short rainy 0.064 0.042 1.52 0.129 0.147 0.043 3.45 6.0 ×1040.177 0.076 2.32 0.02
Lound. 0.939 0.094 10 <2×1016 1.14 0.094 12.19 <2×1016 1.83 0.474 3.86 1.1 ×104
Ndoki 1 0.358 0.062 5.78 7.3 ×1090.639 0.064 10.01 <2×1016 1.81 0.306 5.92 3.3 ×109
Ndoki 2 0.555 0.049 11.4 <2×1016 0.638 0.051 12.45 <2×1016 0.287 0.114 2.52 0.012
Pokola 0.529 0.048 11.8 <2×1016 0.544 0.047 11.52 <2×1016 0.854 0.102 8.39 <2×1016
Meat price 7.85 ×1052.12 ×1053.70 2.1 ×1042.38 ×1052.05 ×1051.16 0.247 0.003 3.01 ×10510.82 <2×1016
Timeb4.00 ×1039.59 ×1044.17 3.0 ×1053.12 ×1039.77 ×1043.19 0.001 0.016 0.002 10.82 3.4 ×1016
Monthsc0.085 0.085 0.085
aKey: est, estimate; emp, salaried employment; trade, laborer; unemp, unemployed. Effects of categorical variables (ethnicity, town identity, principal economic activity, and season) are
contrasts and are compared with the first categorical level (e.g., migrant for ethnicity), with an estimate set at zero.
bTrend over 6 years.
cStandard deviation, a measure of variance in monthly consumption.
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Volume 23, No. 6, 2009
1606 Bushmeat in Logging Concessions
employment opportunities and development by logging
companies, may present a serious threat to populations
of tropical animals.
Of the five logging towns we studied, the center of
logging operations, Pokola, was the largest and most de-
veloped and was the site of the most worrisome trends
for wildlife populations. More bushmeat and a higher
proportion of smoked meat arrived in Pokola than other
logging towns. The prevalence of smoked bushmeat in-
dicates that Pokola has a widening hunting catchment
with increased transport times; thus, hunters preserve
meat to get it to the market. The substantial increases
from 2000 to 2005 in the proportion of snared animals,
animals harvested by immigrants, and smoked meat also
suggest hunters are using a larger catchment. The bush-
meat in Pokola included a higher proportion of reptiles
and small species (e.g., rodents and birds) than most
other towns, and residents ate higher proportions of large
species, including endangered elephants and apes. The
greater diversity of species in Pokola markets and diets
is likely due, in part, to the greater use of snares, which
are indiscriminate in the species they capture. Hundreds
of snares can be set by a single hunter, which suggests
commercialization is the intent of the hunt (Noss 1998).
The human population pressure in Pokola might be suffi-
ciently great that the current level of hunting is overtax-
ing wildlife populations such that our monitoring efforts
are detecting the early shift in species composition to
smaller bodied, more diverse assemblages, which may be
an indicator of overharvest (Fa et al. 2002; Jerozolimiski
& Peres 2003).
In logging concessions the relatively high salaries of ru-
ral workers employed by logging concessionaires provide
the means to drive the bushmeat trade (Eves & Ruggiero
2000; Wilkie et al. 2005). In addition to providing a mar-
ket for bushmeat, company workers have the means to
purchase hunting weapons. They often lend their shot-
guns to indigenous Mbendz´
e hunters who lack the
cash to buy firearms. In this exchange the gun owner
receives the bulk of the meat, giving the intestines or
head of the animal to the Mbendz´
e hunter (M. Riddell,
personal communication). In this way company work-
ers gain cheap meat and benefit from a second source
of income by selling a portion of the bushmeat (Wilkie
et al. 2001). Without the means to purchase their own
weapons, indigenous hunters likely miss an important
source of income. It is often the market sale of the meat
by the gun owner, and not consumption of wild foods,
that can be most important to households living in ex-
treme poverty (De Merode et al. 2004).
In northern Congo the hunter-gatherer Mbendz´
less likely than other ethnic groups to work for logging
companies or have other salaried employment because
of their semi-nomadic lifestyles and lack of education.
Their principal employment with logging companies is as
tree identifiers during preharvest surveys. The high pro-
portion of Mbendz´
demonstration of their poverty compared with other con-
cession residents and suggests that the short-term bene-
fits of hunting are accruing to “outsiders” to the detriment
of indigenous peoples who have prior, legitimate claims
to bushmeat and other forest resources.
Feeding People in Logging Concessions
Similar to previous studies (Brashares et al. 2004; Wilkie
et al. 2005), we found fish consumption was negatively
correlated with the consumption of bushmeat and do-
mestic meat, which suggests that both are likely sub-
stitutes for fish. We documented a small increase in
the consumption of domestic meat over the 6 years
of our study. Domestic meat became increasingly avail-
able as local traders imported beef and the logging com-
pany shipped in frozen meat for sale to concession res-
idents. The increase in the consumption of domestic
meat is a promising sign that people are willing to con-
sume alternatives to locally harvested freshwater fish and
Sustainability of Hunting in Logging Concessions
Our method of estimating bushmeat biomass in logging
towns greatly underestimated the actual offtake within
the logging concessions. Although we surveyed mar-
kets and principal entry routes into towns, we missed
hunters who returned by other routes from the forest or
transported bushmeat directly outside the concessions to
other towns. In addition to the five logging towns, there
are 28 traditional villages (3098 people) in the conces-
sions that also rely on wild animals for food and revenue.
Although we are uncertain of our estimate of total
bushmeat offtake from the concessions, we are confi-
dent that the proportional offtake of species and species
groups is accurate (with slight underestimations for pro-
tected species, including apes and elephants). That both
the proportional offtake and the consumption of duikers,
pigs, and monkeys remained high and that small species
represented a small proportion of all bushmeat suggests
wildlife populations might be able to support current
offtake levels (Rowcliffe et al. 2003; Fa et al. 2005). Nev-
ertheless, the high diversity of bushmeat species in mar-
kets (e.g., Pokola) is alarming because it may indicate the
initial phase of wildlife depletion (Fa et al. 2002). Fur-
thermore, a detailed study of hunting and source–sink
dynamics of duikers around Kabo found blue duikers
are overharvested near Kabo and that hunters increase
catchment size to maintain the quantity of duiker meat
in the village (Mockrin 2008). The significant increase
in the proportion of smoked animals in Pokola, Kabo,
and Ndoki 1 similarly suggests that hunters are traveling
farther to find prey—a strategy made possible by com-
pany vehicles that, despite a ban on transport of hunters
and bushmeat, carried 52.5% of all bushmeat to logging
Conservation Biology
Volume 23, No. 6, 2009
Poulsen et al. 1607
towns. Given these warning signs populations of game
animals need to be monitored closely because the decline
from healthy faunal populations to faunal depletion can
occur suddenly (Albrechtsen et al. 2007).
The Future for Forest Animals
The hunting of bushmeat can be an issue of biodiversity
conservation or human livelihood. Most places probably
sit somewhere on the continuum between the two ex-
tremes (Bennett et al. 2007). In much of West Africa,
where populations of large-bodied wildlife species have
already declined or been extirpated, the bushmeat prob-
lem is one of ensuring that the poor have access to afford-
able protein sources. In more remote regions of Central
Africa, for the time being, the problem is conservation
of biodiversity. As we have shown, extractive industries
can drive human population growth in frontier forests, in-
tensifying the bushmeat trade and affecting both wildlife
populations and human livelihoods. Therefore, where in-
dustry is involved, be it industrial logging in Central Africa
or agriculture in West Africa, management of bushmeat
depends on engaging the private sector so that its ac-
tions complement conservation interventions. There is
room for optimism that this can happen because industry
has been a willing and effective partner in conservation
(Elkan et al. 2006; Poulsen et al. 2007; Butler & Laurance
Industry can promote biodiversity conservation and
human livelihoods by moving toward sustainable prac-
tices that explicitly consider the direct and indirect ef-
fects of their activities on wildlife (Robinson et al. 1999;
Milner-Gulland et al. 2003). In our study, we partially at-
tribute the consistency in bushmeat supply over time to
conservation measures taken as part of the BZP. Many of
these measures apply broadly to extractive industry, not
just the forestry sector. First, companies should guaran-
tee the importation or development of protein sources for
their workers and their families, keeping prices compet-
itive with bushmeat and fish. Second, companies should
contribute to wildlife law enforcement (e.g., salaries of
ecoguards who control transport of hunters and bush-
meat along logging roads). Third, companies should en-
sure that their workers hunt legally (with proper licenses
and permits) and impose penalties or fire workers who
break the law. Fourth, traditional systems of resource
management (e.g., hunting territories) should be formal-
ized in land-use planning (e.g., management plans for
logging concessions) and access to resources for indige-
nous people should be prioritized. Fifth, access to for-
est roads should be restricted to company vehicles, and
roads should be closed when not actively used for log-
ging. Finally, urbanization should be avoided in logging
concessions. If possible, sawmills and wood-finishing fac-
tories should be built and operated in or close to existing
cities to avoid the growth of urban centers in the for-
est. Although the appropriateness of these measures may
differ from site to site, active management for wildlife
in logging concessions may be the only way to ensure
that in tropical forests there are some animals among the
We thank the Government of Congo and its Ministry
of Forestry Economy for support of this research. The
governments of Switzerland, Japan, United States, and
France, along with the International Tropical Timber Or-
ganization, United States Agency for International De-
velopment, Central African Regional Program for the
Environment, United States Fish and Wildlife Service
WCS, CIB, and Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation
contributed to the funding of the project. We thank
the following people for their contributions: S. Elkan,
J. Mokoko-Ikonga, P. Kama, R. Malonga, M. Zoniaba,
B. Kimbembe, C. Makoumbou, C. Prevost, P. Mbom,
D. Paget, O. Desmet, J-M. Pierre, L. Van der Walt, and J.-M.
Mevellec. We give special thanks to the local communi-
ties that participated in the study. D. Wilkie, J. Putz, and
one anonymous reviewer provided helpful comments on
the manuscript. This paper is dedicated to the memory
of A. Moukassa who initiated this research in 1999.
Supporting Information
The number and identity of bushmeat species observed
(Appendix S1) are available as part of the on-line article.
The author is responsible for the content and function-
ality of these materials. Queries (other than absence of
the material) should be directed to the corresponding
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... Community-based initiatives can only be successful at promoting sustainable and biosecure wild game management on community lands if accompanied by efforts to reduce pressure from urban demand. 150,286 To start with, in the growing number of settlements and provincial towns emerging near extractive, plantation and infrastructure construction sites, affordable supplies of locally farmed or imported legume, fish and livestock protein should be established or strengthened 299 (Figure 7). The next policy option to stem urban pressure would be to regulate the wild meat sector through a state-run trade license system that sets total wild meat offtake levels and permitted hunting zones and seasons. ...
... These measures would include minimising natural habitat fragmentation, adopting wild animal physical distancing measures, providing worker camps and emerging settlements with access to affordable and sustainably produced legume, fish and farm-reared animal protein, monitoring and sanctioning illegal wild meat hunting, sale and transportation at their sites, and promoting biosecurity measures among indigenous communities that practice legal hunting. 106,299 Furthermore, interventions exist that target wild animal reservoirs and vectors, such as vaccination, culling and vector management. Owing to differences in reservoir and vector species ecologies, no strategy is likely to effectively tackle all wildlife-origin disease transmission pathways. ...
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... For instance, in Nigeria and Cameroon, increased road density has been linked a decreased in large-mammal density on the area . Similarly, in the Republic of Congo, the construction of logging infrastructure and industrial roads led to an increase in hunting, as the workforce migrated and settled along the new roads (Poulsen et al., 2009). ...
... The observed decrease in hunting intensity from 2018 to 2019 in our study, therefore, may reflect hunters' response to a local depletion of primate populations, as they move from monitored areas-where primates decreased in numbers from the first to the second year of the study-to areas where primates are more abundant in order to keep up with wildmeat demand in Malabo. A similar response has been documented in the Republic of Congo, where hunters increased travel distance to meet a growing demand from wildmeat as the human population in local forest logging villages increased (Poulsen et al., 2009). Whether our observation that hunting decreased from 2018 to 2019 was due to hunters moving away from areas with decreasing primate density or to an actual decrease in overall hunting in GCSR, however, requires further research. ...
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... In both cases, the level of training in the morphological identification of bushmeat species is at stake. This has important implications for the implementation of bushmeat surveys, which may partly rely for data collection on third parties in acquaintance with the bushmeat commodity chain (e.g., Fa et al., 2015;Poulsen et al., 2009). Our results also argue for a better training of the customs involved in bushmeat seizures from flights entering Europe, with a stake concerning both biodiversity conservation and health issues (Friant et al., 2020;Pruvot et al., 2019). ...
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Although the bushmeat trade is a significant component of the Anthropocene crisis in the tropics, the reliability of species-level identification is generally lacking from bushmeat surveys. We conducted a comprehensive study of 23 bushmeat markets in Cameroon and one seizure from a French airport using a multi-gene DNA-typing approach and a dedicated species-assignment pipeline (DNABUSHMEAT). We identified 39 species-level taxa from 318 collected bushmeat items, including nine Cetartiodactyla, six Carnivora, three Pholidota, seven Rodentia, 12 Primates, one Squamata and one Crocodilia. DNA-typing allowed detecting three species previously unreported from the Cameroonian trade and clarifying the status of taxa subject to cryptic diversity (rodents) and shallow diagnostic characters (small carnivores, antelopes and guenons). Only 7% of the samples could not be assigned to the species-level, including two guenons and one snake, because of fluctuant taxonomy and weak representation in nucleotide databases. Almost half (43%) of the morphological identifications were corrected or refined by our DNA-typing approach. Generalized linear models showed that smoked specimens and primates were significantly suffering from inaccurate species identification. We also observed that customs (Paris) and market-recruited assistants (Cameroon) peaked at very high rates of inaccurate species identifications (87 and 100%, respectively), calling for cautiousness when third parties are involved in bushmeat surveys. Overall, >50% of the bushmeat species traded in Cameroon were nationally protected. Because accurate species identification is a central component of conservation strategies, we posit that our DNA-typing approach is a valuable asset for improving the traceability of the domestic and international bushmeat trade.
... Caution should also be exerted towards people claiming to access the areas for medicinal plant collection , as this is often associated with animal harvesting for medicinal purposes. Finally, land-uses occurring within PA's, such as forestry, require careful management to reduce unnecessary human influxes and to maintain habitat for wildlife Poulsen et al. 2009). Land-use zoning will however require substantial cross-ministerial communication and cooperation ), and will result in high expenses and time commitments (Naughton- . ...
Three major forms of hunting are believed to be on the increase in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, posing independently and synergistically some of the greatest threats to the continued survival of local wildlife. Firstly, there is growing evidence of the presence and reliance of local communities on bushmeat harvesting by means of wire-snare poaching, potentially implying severe reductions or extirpations of target species, high rates of non-target off-take, and the loss of entire communities. Secondly, human-wildlife conflict poses a threat to the livelihoods and agricultural security of many stakeholders living at the interface of human development and natural habitat in the Boland, resulting in the vast eradication of damage-causing animals (DCA’s). Finally, the use of animals and animal-derived materials in traditional medicine constitutes an important part of the belief-systems of indigenous African cultures, and is believed to be rapidly expanding. Due to the severity of the consequences reported elsewhere globally, and the general lack of local information with which to quantify the extent and impact of these hunting practices locally, structured interviews were conducted with farmers (n = 103) and labourers (n = 307) on private agricultural properties bordering protected areas (PA’s). In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with traditional healers (n = 36) operating from impoverished, rural communities near PA’s. Our reliance on the knowledge and experiences of local people elucidated several dynamic and interwoven social, economic and ecological factors underlying wildlife off-take, and subsequently allowed for the quantification, documentation and mapping of vertebrate off-take at the human-wildlife interface. Wire-snare poaching incidence and behaviour was strongly influenced by economic factors relating to poverty, a lack of governing regulations and punitive measures, interpersonal development, and abiotic factors such as proximity to major residential areas, roadways and PA’s. Results showed that local, male farmers managing large commercial properties affiliated with regional conservancies were most likely to rely on the lethal control of DCA’s. The highest level of tolerance by farmers was shown for primates and ungulates, while tolerance for carnivores, avifauna and invasive or feral species was comparatively lower. The spatial location of observed and expected zones of species-specific risk on a regional level was also mapped using a maximum entropy algorithm. We recorded 26 broad use-categories for 12 types of animal parts or products from 71 species used in traditional medicine. The most commonly sold items were skin pieces, oil or fat, and bones. To conclude, we conducted a synergistic assessment of species’ vulnerability to the combined impacts of the above-mentioned hunting practices, and subsequently found that leopard, grey duiker, chacma baboon, caracal, Cape porcupine, aardvark, genet spp., and cape clawless otters experience the highest potential endangerment. This study provided the first demonstration of the multifaceted and complex nature of hunting practices in the Boland Region, opening a dialogue between local communities and conservation agencies. The primary goals being to broaden our understanding of the heterogeneity in local-scale socio-ecological dynamics, to apply policies for effective management and eradication, to prioritize areas and species for intervention, to provide for more accurate allocation of conservation resources, and to provide grounds for future research in the area and elsewhere.
... In the rainforests of Central Africa, bushmeat-wild meat used by humans, from the French viande de brousse-is a vital component of the food, financial and cultural security of rural people (Cawthorn & Hoffman, 2015;van Vliet, 2018). Colonisation over the last several hundred years has greatly changed Central African bushmeat hunting SESs, and over the last several decades logging and the roads it brings have increased access to previously remote areas and new markets driven by urbanisation have increased the commercialisation of bushmeat (Abernethy et al., 2013;Ingram, 2020;Kleinschroth et al., 2019;Poulsen et al., 2009). Hunting exceeds ecologically sustainable levels in many areas, and resulting defaunation and biodiversity loss threaten the well-being of rural people through reduced access to bushmeat and all of humanity through the associated loss of ecosystem functioning like carbon sequestration (Abernethy et al., 2013;Brodie, 2018;Poulsen et al., 2013;Weinbaum et al., 2013). ...
Hunting for bushmeat represents a complex social–ecological system ill‐suited to top‐down management. Community participatory management is an alternative approach with increasing support for both ethical and pragmatic reasons. Key to a community approach is long‐term monitoring: this can both catalyse local ownership of and cohesion around management and is necessary to assess the effects of interventions and make changes as needed through adaptive management. Yet community‐driven methods to monitor hunting remain underdeveloped: they often fail to account for sampling bias and do not incorporate space in a thorough way, and data are not communally analysed to simulate effects of potential management decisions. We created a novel community bushmeat monitoring programme to address these gaps across 20 villages in north‐eastern Gabon. Paraecologists conducted standardised monitoring of bushmeat, and hundreds of hunters conducted GPS self‐follows mapping village hunting catchments. We integrated these data to estimate the proportion of bushmeat sampled and make robust extrapolations of total offtake across space and time, estimating an annual offtake of ~30,000 animals of >56 species across all villages. Here, we present our approach and data—and apply them through a case study of six sympatric duiker species—to inform new directions for social–ecological bushmeat research and management. La chasse pour la viande de brousse représente un système social‐écologique complexe, mal adressé par la gestion étatique. La gestion participative communautaire est une approche alternative de plus en plus soutenue pour des raisons étiques comme pragmatiques. Le suivi à long‐terme est clé pour l'approche communautaire: il peut catalyser l'appropriation locale et la cohésion autour de la gestion et est nécessaire pour évaluer les effets des interventions et les changer en cas de necessité avec la gestion adaptative. Or les méthodes communautaire de suivi de la chasse sont sous‐développées: elles n'adressent souvent pas le biais d'échantillonnage, n'intègrent pas l'espace dans une manière profonde, et l'analyse de données ne se fait pas de façon communautaire pour simuler les effets des décisions éventuelles dans la gestion. Nous avons crée un nouveau programme qui s'adresse à ces lacunes à travers 20 villages au nord‐est du Gabon. Des paraécologistes ont fait du suivi standardisé de la viande de brousse, et des centaines de chasseurs ont fait l'auto‐suivi GPS cartographiant des zones de chasse villageoises. Nous avons intégré ces données pour estimer la proportion de la viande de brousse échantillonné et extrapoler le prélèvement total à travers l'espace et le temps, estimant un prélèvement annuel de ~30,000 animaux de >56 espèces à travers tous les villages. Ici, nous présentons notre approche et nos données—et les appliquer à travers une étude de cas de six espèces de céphalophes sympatriques—pour informer des nouvelles directions de recherche et gestion sociale‐ecologique de la viande de brousse.
... Conversely, other drivers should be considered, such as the growth of agricultural areas and mining exploitation, they always create an imbalance and habitat fragmentation [49] [50], and species can move from one area to another. In fragmented areas, wildlife is more vulnerable to hunting [51] [52] [53] than those inhabiting intact forest areas. ...
... For example, trenches formed along roadsides can increase the amount of standing water and therefore breeding sites for mosquito vectors; the obstruction of natural water drainage is also associated with increased leptospirosis, as waterlogging forces rodents to leave their burrows and saturated agricultural fields become contaminated with urine, exposing farm workers to infection (Dubey et al., 2021). Logging roads designed to bring timber workers deeper into forest environments can increase likelihood of human contact with novel pathogens, and allow hunting activities to take place from any location along these rapidly expanding networks rather than within a radius of a settlement (Laurance et al., 2006); logging practices have been linked to elevated bushmeat demand, the hunting and consumption of which are associated with blood-borne and ingestion pathways of zoonotic spillover (Karesh and Noble, 2009;Poulsen et al., 2009). Roads also importantly facilitate increased movement of people, goods, livestock, and wildlife including invasive species and animals captured for the international wildlife trade, which can lead to establishment of diseases in new areas. ...
Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian malaria parasite of great public health concern has been reported from most countries in Southeast Asia and exported to various countries around the world. Currently P. knowlesi is the predominant species infecting humans in Malaysia. Besides this species, other simian malaria parasites such as P. cynomolgi and P. inui are also infecting humans in the region. The vectors of P. knowlesi and other Asian simian malarias belong to the Leucosphyrus Group of Anopheles mosquitoes which are generally forest dwelling species. Continual deforestation has resulted in these species moving into forest fringes, farms, plantations and human settlements along with their macaque hosts. Limited studies have shown that mosquito vectors are attracted to both humans and macaque hosts, preferring to bite outdoors and in the early part of the night. We here review the current status of simian malaria vectors and their parasites, knowledge of vector competence from experimental infections and discuss possible vector control measures. The challenges encountered in simian malaria elimination are also discussed. We highlight key knowledge gaps on vector distribution and ecology that may impede effective control strategies.
... One precursor for managing risks associated with the wild meat trade is to assess the nature and scope of the illicit economy. The literature provides insight about hunters (e.g., Pailler et al. 2009), village-level consumption (e.g., Kümpel et al. 2010;Poulsen et al. 2009) and estimating species diversity at wild meat markets (e.g., Fa, Currie & Meeuwig 2003). There has been sustained research on rural aspects of the trade within West and Central Africa (e.g., Taylor et al. 2015), and some studies have mapped the types of actors involved in the trade and the flow of wild meat through the supply chain (Boakye et al. 2016;Cowlishaw, Mendelson & Rowcliffe 2005;Mendelson, Cowlishaw & Rowcliffe 2006). ...
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The unprecedented global scale of illegal wildlife trade poses threats to humans and ecosystems. Policies calling for increased enforcement to control illicit trade are rooted in the idea that more enforcement will result in greater deterrence, but as yet it is unclear how the illegal wildlife supply chain responds to enforcement actions. To evaluate the impact of formal or informal deterrence, it may be pertinent to consider strategies used by illicit networks to avoid sanction threats. Using an exploratory case study on urban wild meat trade (Republic of Congo), we describe some of the strategies used to avoid detection and consider how the concept of restrictive deterrence can be used to advance our understanding of the broader impacts of sanction threats on offender decision-making in illegal wildlife supply chains.
Like their ancestors, forest dwellers in the Republic of the Congo depend heavily on bushmeat for their livelihoods. National regulations and enforcement are ineffective, yet undermine indigenous institutions. In common with many forest communities globally, this is creating an open‐access resource at the same time that demand for bushmeat is increased by roads, towns, markets and new harvesting technology (guns, wire). We argue that the intractability and contradictions of the bushmeat problem globally reflect outdated institutions of exclusionary conservation and that the disempowerment of local people can be framed as an ‘empty laws’ open‐access syndrome in which neither national nor local controls are working. We propose that this is an institutional predicament that needs to be resolved by re‐establishing local tenure and rights, and drawing on the commons literature, New Institutional Economics and the long experience with private and community wildlife in southern Africa to design alternative governance regimes. In proposing measures to re‐build local commons (private‐community ownership), this review highlights community rights, the controversial issue of commercial use and markets, and the substantial advantages of participatory face‐to‐face community governance relative to the representational committee‐based governance associated with development projects. Comme leurs ancêtres, les habitants des forêts de la République du Congo dépendent fortement du gibier de brousse pour leur subsistance. Les réglementations nationales et leur application sont inefficaces, et elles ont pour effet de discréditer les institutions autochtones. À l'instar de nombreuses communautés forestières dans le monde entier, cela a pour conséquence la création d’une ressource en libre accès, alors que la demande en gibier brousse est accentuée par les routes, les villes, les marchés et les nouvelles technologies de récolte (armes à feu, grillages). Nous avançons que l'intraitabilité et les contradictions du problème du gibier de brousse à l'échelle mondiale reflètent des institutions de conservation excluantes et obsolètes et que la privation de pouvoir des populations locales peut être définie comme un syndrome de libre accès caractérisé par un « vide juridique » contre lequel ni les contrôles nationaux, ni les contrôles locaux ne fonctionnent. Nous pensons qu’il s’agit d'un problème institutionnel qui doit être résolu en rétablissant le régime foncier et les droits locaux, et en s'appuyant sur la littérature commune, la nouvelle économie institutionnelle et la longue expérience en matière d’aires fauniques communautaires et privées en Afrique australe afin d’élaborerdes régimes de gouvernance alternatifs. En proposant des mesures pour rétablir les biens communs locaux (propriété privée ou communautaire), cette étude met en lumière les droits communautaires, la question controversée de l'utilisation commerciale et des marchés, et les avantages substantiels de la gouvernance communautaire participative par rapport à la gouvernance fondée sur des comités de représentation associée aux projets de développement.
Until the Neolithic Revolution and the advent of farming, around 10,000 years ago, humans subsisted solely on wild foods. As agricultural civilization expanded across the globe, wild animals and ecosystems were progressively displaced. Now, wild species and habitats are in dramatic decline globally. However, wild foods are still consumed throughout the world, and wild harvests have, by and large, expanded alongside other human impacts on the wild, with worldwide industrial-scale fishing and wild terrestrial meat (or “bushmeat”) hunting in the tropics being the two largest sources of wild food in global diets. Both trades drive animal population declines and collapse, are highly commercialized, and mostly serve urban consumers. While the commercial exploitation of forest animals almost inevitably accompanies deforestation and agricultural expansion into forests, forest food harvesting by rural populations may also help protect against deforestation and agricultural intensification. Agroforestry systems that incorporate wild foods could represent a “win-win” outcome that supports human food security while limiting the loss of wildlife. Finally, while urban populations, perhaps paradoxically, drive much of the wild food harvesting in remote areas, foraging within urban areas has the potential to reconnect city dwellers with nature and promote conservation. In this chapter, we first review the drivers, patterns, and generally negative consequences of industrial-scale wild animal harvesting, and then turn to how forest foods and urban foraging could help to preserve the wild ecosystems upon which these harvests depend. We also discuss the challenges of promoting and maintaining sustainable urban foraging.
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Commercial logging, by opening up remote tropical forest areas, stimulating a commercial trade, and bringing in people from other areas, has hugely increased the harvest of wildlife. This loss of wildlife threatens the ability of forest-dwelling people to feed themselves, the survival of harvested species, and the sustainability of tropical forestry itself. As commercial forestry has created the conditions for the increased wildlife harvest, regulatory mechanisms should focus on forestry operations. While progress has been slight to date, there is some openness within the industry to the idea of sustaining all elements of the rain forest ecosystem, including wildlife, when forests are logged.
Recent decades have seen unprecedented growth in the scale and intensity of industrial forestry. Directly and indirectly, it has degraded the wildlife and ecological integrity of these tropical forests, prompting a need to evaluate the impact of current forest management practices and reconsider how best to preserve the integrity of the biosphere. Synthesizing the body of knowledge of leading scientists and professionals in tropical forest ecology and management, this book's thirty chapters examine in detail the interplay between timber harvesting and wildlife, from hunted and protected habitats to invertebrates and large mammal species. Collectively, the contributors suggest that better management is pivotal to the maintenance of the tropics' valuable biodiversity, arguing that we must realize that tropical forests harbor the majority (perhaps 70 to 80 percent) of the world's animal species. Further, they suggest modifications to existing practices that can ensure a better future for our valuable resources.
Hunting of wild animals is an important component of household economies in the Congo Basin. Results from the growing corpus of quantitative studies show that: a) bushmeat remains the primary source of animal protein for the majority of Congo Basin families; b) bushmeat hunting can constitute a significant source of revenue for forest families; c) bushmeat consumption by low density populations living in the forest may be sustainable at present; d) demand for bushmeat by growing numbers of urban consumers has created a substantial market for bushmeat that is resulting in a halo of defaunation around population centres, and may be driving unsustainable levels of hunting, even in relatively isolated regions; and e) large bodied animals with low reproductive rates are most susceptible to over-exploitation compared with more r-selected species that apparently can tolerate relatively intensive hunting (Mangel et al. 1996). As urban populations continue to grow and economies revitalise, unless action is taken to alter the demand for, and the supply of bushmeat, the forests of the Congo Basin will be progressively stripped of certain wildlife species, risking their extirpation or extinction, and the loss of values they confer to local economies. Consequently, it is essential that a) logging companies are encouraged or coerced not to facilitate bushmeat hunting and transportation in their concessions, b) we develop a better understanding of the elasticity of bushmeat demand, c) that pilot bushmeat substitution projects are supported and their impact on demand evaluated, and d) social marketing activities are put in place to attempt to direct consumer preferences for animal protein away from bushmeat species that are particularly susceptible to over-exploitation.