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Landscape correlates of bushmeat consumption and hunting in a post-frontier Amazonian region

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/12/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Conservation
Issue number4
Volume45
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)315-323
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date10/11/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Identifying the drivers of bushmeat consumption and hunting is important for informing conservation strategies and recognizing challenges to human food security. However, studies often neglect the importance of landscape context, which can influence bushmeat supply and demand. Here, by quantifying bushmeat consumption and hunting in 262 households in a post-frontier region in Amazonia, we tested the hypotheses that bushmeat consumption and hunting are positively associated with two landscape characteristics: (1) forest cover, which has been shown to define game availability; and (2) remoteness, which is related to limited access to marketed meat. Bushmeat consumption was widespread but more likely in remote forested areas. Hunting was more likely in more forested areas, especially nearer to urban centres. Our findings suggest that bushmeat remains an important food source even in heavily altered forest regions and that landscape context is an important determinant of bushmeat consumption and hunting. Although people living in remote, forested areas are likely to be the most dependent on bushmeat, those living in more populous, peri-urban areas are likely the actors contributing most to total hunting effort, due to a higher probability of hunting combined with higher human population densities. This finding undermines the assumption that rural–urban migration in the tropics will deliver a much-needed reprieve for many overhunted species.