Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 1385–1397

Wildlife farming: an alternative to unsustainable hunting and deforestation in Neotropical forests?


    • Laboratório de Etologia AplicadaUniversidade Estadual de Santa Cruz
  • Sérgio L. G. Nogueira-Filho
    • Laboratório de Manejo de Fauna Silvestre e ConservaçãoUniversidade Estadual de Santa Cruz
Review Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10531-011-0047-7

Cite this article as:
Nogueira, S.S.C. & Nogueira-Filho, S.L.G. Biodivers Conserv (2011) 20: 1385. doi:10.1007/s10531-011-0047-7


Wild animals have been a source of food and income through subsistence hunting by forest-dwelling people in Neotropical countries in spite of the fact that hunting appears to be unsustainable as it leads to the depletion of wild fauna. Laws in Brazil and other Latin American countries forbid hunting but allow the commercial use of captive-bred animals. Notwithstanding the fact that this is a controversial topic among conservationists, in this paper we propose that wildlife farming in the Neotropics can be an alternative to the over-hunting and deforestation that are carried out for the production of traditional food and pastures for livestock. This review sets out this proposal, and discusses the implications for tropical forest integrity and rural population dependency on forest resources. We discuss the ecological and economical advantages of wildlife farming and its constraints as a conservation tool, using collared peccary (Pecari tajacu) farming in the Amazon region as a model. Productivity levels may reach 19,000 times higher than those obtained from the management of peccaries from forests in the Amazon region. This can be achieved with an easily obtainable diet composed of forest fruits and locally available agricultural by-products. Therefore, establishing captive management programs for peccaries is an effective way of avoiding wild stock depletion, deforestation, and guaranteeing the livelihood of forest dwellers in the Neotropics. However, it is essential that governmental and/or non-governmental agencies be involved in providing subsides to establish peccary farms, provide technical assistance, and introducing peccary captive breeding centers to supply founder stock.


Captive breedingFood securityRearing of gameWildlife husbandry

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011