ATBC Online Web Program

Hunting and bushmeat consumption in post-frontier landscapes in eastern Amazonia: The importance of large-scale environmental driver

Tuesday, 25 June 2013: 17:15
La Paz-A (Herradura San Jose)
Patricia Torres , Department of Ecology, University of São Paulo, Brazil
Carla Morsello , EACH, University of São Paulo, Brazil
Luke Parry , Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, United Kingdom
Toby Alan Gardner , Cambridge University, United Kingdom
Jos Barlow , Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, United Kingdom
Joice Ferreira , Embrapa Amazônia Oriental, Brazil
Renata Pardini , Zoology, University of São Paulo, Brazil
Understanding the drivers of hunting and bushmeat consumption in and around tropical forests is crucial for the development of effective conservation and management strategies to maintain biodiversity and food security of human populations. While a lot of research has focused on understanding household-level socioeconomic drivers of bushmeat demand, we know much less about the importance of larger-scale environmental factors in determining bushmeat supply. ­Through a survey of 292 households across 16 heterogeneous landscapes in Eastern Amazonia, we investigated the influence of forest cover (as a proxy of game availability), distance to urban centers (as a proxy of access to alternative source of protein and monetary income) and distance to rivers (as a proxy of fish availability) on the maximum distance traveled to a hunting site, and on the probability of hunting, consuming and purchasing bushmeat. Game availability, estimated by forest cover, was strongly and positively associated with both the probability of hunting and consuming bushmeat. In contrast, access to urban centers presented opposite trends. Improved access to urban centers was associated with a decrease in the probability of consuming bushmeat, but with an increase in the probability of hunting and purchasing bushmeat, as well as in the maximum distance traveled to a hunting site. This may suggest that irrespective of the decrease in bushmeat consumption likely related to a higher availability of alternative sources of protein near urban centers, the benefits of trading bushmeat are higher near cities given the higher demand for, and lower supply of, bushmeat. Our results highlight the need to simultaneously consider multiple large-scale drivers in future studies, and suggest that hunting pressure and game depletion may not necessarily decrease with urbanization, which may favor bushmeat trade.
  • 5_Torres_S18_June25.pdf (4.9 MB)