Human Ecology

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 795–806

Wildlife Depletion in a West African Farm-Forest Mosaic and the Implications for Hunting Across the Landscape


    • Institute of ZoologyZoological Society of London
    • Department of AnthropologyUniversity College London
  • J. Marcus Rowcliffe
    • Institute of ZoologyZoological Society of London
  • Katherine Homewood
    • Department of AnthropologyUniversity College London
  • Laura A. Kurpiers
    • Institute of ZoologyZoological Society of London
  • Charlotte Whitham
    • Division of BiologyImperial College London
    • College of Nature ConservationBeijing Forestry University
  • Guy Cowlishaw
    • Institute of ZoologyZoological Society of London

DOI: 10.1007/s10745-013-9609-5

Cite this article as:
Schulte-Herbrüggen, B., Rowcliffe, J.M., Homewood, K. et al. Hum Ecol (2013) 41: 795. doi:10.1007/s10745-013-9609-5


Unsustainable hunting is a threat to conservation and rural livelihoods that depend on bushmeat for food and income. To reduce the pressure on forest-dependent vulnerable species, hunting in farmland might complement offtake from forests and provide a sustainable source of bushmeat. To explore this possibility, we investigated patterns of hunting and wildlife depletion, and integration of hunting into agricultural livelihoods, in an intensively managed farm-forest mosaic landscape. Surveys were conducted across 63 households over a year in a Ghanaian cocoa-farming community surrounded by a timber production forest. The findings indicated a high level of wildlife depletion in the landscape and the local extinction of the largest species, especially in farmland. Most hunting occurred in forests and offtake from farmland was low, yet hunting in farmland was disproportionately common relative to its coverage in the landscape. Most farmland hunting was opportunistic and integrated with agricultural activities. Our findings suggest that intensively used farmland provides little opportunity to reduce hunting pressure in forests.


GhanaBushmeatResource depletionNon-timber forest product

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013