||Saving rodents, losing primates—Why we need tailored bushmeat management strategies
||Bachmann, M.E.; Nielsen, M.R.; Cohen, H.; Haase, D.; Kouassi, J.A.K.; Mundry, R.; Kuehl, H.S.
||People and Nature
|Data and Software links
||bushmeat crisis; conservation; environmental awareness; hunting; poaching; West Africa; wildlife commodity chain; wildlife trade
- Efforts to curb the unsustainable wildlife trade in
tropical forests conceptualize bushmeat as a generic resource, exploited
by a homogeneous group. However, bushmeat is composed of miscellaneous
species differing in risks of zoonotic disease transmissions,
sensitivity to hunting and abundance. If people choose these species for
varying reasons, mitigation approaches that neglect specific drivers
would likely target abundant species, e.g. rodents. Meanwhile, rare
species of greater conservation relevance, like many primates, would be
overlooked. Additionally, if reasons vary between user groups, their
responsiveness to interventions may differ too.
- We assessed this possibility for three common
strategies to mitigate bushmeat use, which are:
development‐based—reducing reliance on bushmeat; educational—increasing
environmental and school education; and cultural—promoting
environmentally friendly habits.
- We interviewed 348 hunters, 202 traders and 985
consumers of bushmeat around Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire, and
tested if factors related to the above strategies affected selection for
primates, duikers and rodents.
- Our analyses revealed that people chose taxa for very
different reasons. Users with shared characteristics favoured similar
taxa; hunters economically reliant on bushmeat income targeted primates
and duikers, while hunters and consumers nutritionally reliant on
wildlife protein preferred rodents. Different groups used the same taxa
for varying reasons. For example, hunting of primates was associated
with economic needs, while their consumption appeared a matter of
status. Meanwhile, cultural habits, like religion, specifically affected
consumption and taboos inhibited the use of primates; environmental
awareness was linked to lower utilization of most taxa within most user
- Our results demonstrate that educational‐, cultural‐,
and development‐based strategies may address different needs and taxa.
Consumers may present a key target group, as they rejected rare species
for multiple cultural and educational reasons. Notably, the widespread
effect of environmental awareness could facilitate large‐scale
demand‐reduction approaches. Nevertheless, there is no one‐size‐fits‐all
solution and campaigns need to be tailored to specific taxa and user
groups. Ultimately, clear target definitions, prior in‐depth research,
community‐driven solutions and tools from marketing and psychology may
help to design novel strategies that encompass the diversity of bushmeat
species and its users.
|Persistent UFZ Identifier
|Bachmann, M.E., Nielsen, M.R., Cohen, H., Haase, D., Kouassi, J.A.K., Mundry, R., Kuehl, H.S. (2020):
Saving rodents, losing primates—Why we need tailored bushmeat management strategies
People Nat. 2 (4), 889 - 902