Advertisement

Environmental Management

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 158–167 | Cite as

Hunting for a Living: Wildlife Trade, Rural Livelihoods and Declining Wildlife in the Hkakaborazi National Park, North Myanmar

  • Madhu Rao
  • Than Zaw
  • Saw Htun
  • Than Myint
Article

Abstract

Hunting is a threat to wildlife within the Hkakaborazi National Park in north Myanmar. We used questionnaire surveys to obtain data on variables such as commonly targeted species, prices of traded wildlife, reasons for hunting and the relative importance of livelihood sources. We examine (a) the significance of hunting and trade for livelihoods and explore (b) the impacts of hunting on targeted species. Ninety per cent of trade records (n = 803) was constituted by seven species commonly targeted by hunters (serow, red goral, muntjac, bear, Assamese macaque, black musk deer and takin). Commercially valuable species previously targeted by hunters (tiger, otter, pangolin) appear to be completely absent from current harvest records and potentially in decline. Although farming is the predominant occupation, hunting (driven by trade) represents a significantly higher source of income than other livelihood activities. Management recommendations include increased investment in enforcement, education and outreach, small livestock development, improved crop productivity, demarcation of no-take areas for wildlife and biological monitoring of targeted species.

Keywords

Hunting Myanmar Wildlife trade Livelihoods Species decline 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, British Embassy, Yangon and for the support provided by the Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division, Ministry of Forestry, Government of Myanmar. We are indebted to the local people who shared their knowledge with us and local field assistants who spent many long and rigorous days in the field. We would like to especially thank Kyaw Thinn Latt for his assistance in creating Fig. 1 and to the administrative staff of the WCS Myanmar Program for logistical assistance. The Wildlife Conservation Society, New York provided additional financial assistance for this project.

References

  1. Albrechtsen L, Macdonald DW, Johnson PJ, Castelo R, Fa JE (2005) Faunal loss from bushmeat hunting: empirical evidence and policy implications in Bioko Island. Environmental Science and Policy 10:654–667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alvard M (2000) The impact of traditional subsistence hunting and trapping in prey populations: data from Wana horticulturalists of upland Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. In: Robinson JG, Bennett EL (eds) Sustainability of Hunting in Tropical Forests. Columbia University Press, New York, pp 305–324Google Scholar
  3. Anon (2005) Going, going, gone. The illegal trade in wildlife in East and Southeast Asia. The World Bank, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  4. Ansell WFH (1947) A note on the position of rhinoceros in Myanmar. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society 47:249–275Google Scholar
  5. Asian Development Bank (2009) Key indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2009. www.adb.org. Accessed 1 Sep 2009
  6. Aung M, Swe KK, Oo T, Moe KK, Leimgruber P, Allendorf T, Duncan C, Wemmer C (2004) The environmental history of Chatthin Wildlife Sanctuary, a protected area in Myanmar (Burma). Journal of Environmental Management 72:205–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bennett EL (2007) Hunting, wildlife trade and wildlife consumption patterns in Asia. In: Davies G, Brown D (eds) Bushmeat and livelihoods: wildlife management and poverty reduction. Blackwell, MaldenGoogle Scholar
  8. Bennett EL, Nyaoi AJ, Sompud J (2000) Saving Borneo’s bacon: the sustainability of hunting in Sarawak and Sabah. In: Robinson JG, Bennett EL (eds) Sustainability of hunting in tropical forests. Columbia University Press, New York, pp 305–324Google Scholar
  9. BirdLife International (2005) Investment opportunities in biodiversity conservation by civil society in Myanmar. Unpublished Report for The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, ArlingtonGoogle Scholar
  10. Clayton L, Milner-Gulland EJ (2000) The trade in wildlife in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. In: Robinson JG, Bennett EL (eds) Sustainability of hunting in tropical forests. Columbia University Press, New York, pp 473–495Google Scholar
  11. Conservation International (2004) Biodiversity hotspots revisited. Conservation International, Washington. http://www.biodiversityhotspots.org/xp/Hotspots/resources/maps.xml. Accessed 26 Sep 2009
  12. Corlett RT (2007) The impact of hunting on the mammalian fauna of tropical Asian forests. Biotropica 39:292–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cowlishaw G, Mendelson S, Rowcliffe JM (2005) Evidence for post-depletion sustainability in a mature bushmeat market. Journal of Applied Ecology 42:460–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Datta A, Anand MO, Naniwadekar R (2008) Empty forests: large carnivore and prey abundance in Namdapha National Park, north-east India. Biological Conservation 141:1429–1435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. De Merode E, Homewood K, Cowlishaw G (2004) The value of bushmeat and other wild foods to rural households living in extreme poverty in Democratic Republic of Congo. Biological Conservation 118:573–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fa JE, García Yuste J (2001) Commercial bushmeat hunting in the Monte Mitra forests, equatorial Guinea: extent and impact. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation 24:31–52Google Scholar
  17. Fellowes J, Lau M, Chan B, Hau CH, Ng SC (2004) Nature reserves in South China: observations on their role and problems in conserving biodiversity. In: Xie Y, Wang S, Schei P (eds) China’s protected areas. Tsinghua University Press, Beijing, pp 341–355Google Scholar
  18. Gubbi S, MacMillan DC (2008) Can non-timber forest products solve livelihood problems ? A case study from Periyar Tiger Reserve, India. Oryx 42:222–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gunatilake HM (1998) The role of rural development in protecting tropical rainforests: evidence from Sri Lanka. Journal of Environmental Management 53:273–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hofer H, Campbell KL, East ML, Huish SA (2000) Modeling the spatial distribution of the economic costs and benefits of illegal game meat hunting in the Serengeti. Natural Resource Modeling 13:151–177Google Scholar
  21. Jerozolimski A, Peres CA (2003) Bringing home the biggest bacon: a cross-site analysis of the structure of hunter-kill profiles in Neotropical forests. Biological Conservation 111:415–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kaul R, Hilaludin, Jandrotia JS, McGowan PJK (2004) Hunting of large mammals and pheasants in the Western Indian Himalaya. Oryx 38:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kitamura S, Yumoto T, Poonswad P, Wohandee P (2007) Frugivory and seed dispersal by Asian elephants Elephas maximus, in a moist evergreen forest of Thailand. Journal of Tropical Ecology 23:373–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kress WJ DeFilipps RA, Farr E, Kyi YY (2003) A checklist of the trees, shrubs, herbs and climbers of Myanmar (revised from the original works by Lace JH, Hundley HG). Contributions to the U.S. Nat Herbarium 45:1–590Google Scholar
  25. Lee RJ (2000) Impact of subsistence hunting in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, and conservation options. In: Robinson JG, Bennett EL (eds) Sustainability of hunting in tropical forests. Columbia University Press, New York, pp 455–472Google Scholar
  26. Lee RJ, Gorog AJ, Dwiyahreni A, Siwu S, Riley J, Alexander H, Paoli GD, Ramono W (2005) Wildlife trade and implications for law enforcement in Indonesia: a case study from North Sulawesi. Biological Conservation 123:477–488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Leimgruber P, Kelly DS, Steininger MK, Brunner J, Muller T, Songer M (2005) Forest cover change patterns in Myanmar (Burma) 1990–2000. Environmental Conservation 32:356–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Loibooki M, Hofer H, Campbell KLI, East ML (2002) Bushmeat hunting by communities adjacent to the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania: the importance of livestock ownership and alternative sources of protein and income. Environmental Conservation 29:391–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lynam AJ, Khaing ST, Zaw KM (2006) Developing a national tiger action plan for the Union of Myanmar. Environmental Management 37:30–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McCarthy S (2000) Ten years of chaos in Burma: foreign investment and economic liberalization under the SLORC-SPDC, 1988 to 1998. Pacific Affairs 73:233–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Milner-Gulland EJ, Bennett EL, SCB Wild Meat Group (2003) Wild meat: the bigger picture. Trends Ecol Evol 18:351–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Milton O, Estes RD (1963) ‘Myanmar Wildlife Survey: 1959–1960’. Special publication No. 15. A report prepared for the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources and the American Committee for International Wildlife Protection, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  33. Ministry of Forestry (1994) Notification Number 583/94 Dated 26 October 1994. List of Protected Animals. Yangon, BurmaGoogle Scholar
  34. Myers N, Mittermeier RA, Mittermeier CG, da Fonseca GAB, Kent J (2000) Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403:853–858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Naranjo EJ, Bodmer RE (2007) Source–sink systems and conservation of hunted ungulates in the Lacandon Forest, Mexico. Biological Conservation 138:412–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nasi R, Brown D, Wilkie D, Bennett E, Tutin C, van Tol G, Christophersen T (2008) Conservation and use of wildlife-based resources: the bushmeat crisis. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, and Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor. Technical Series no. 33Google Scholar
  37. Nooren H, Claridge G (2001) Wildlife trade in Laos: the end of the game. Netherlands Committee for IUCN, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  38. Ohl-Schacherer J, Shepard JG Jr, Kaplan H, Peres CA, Levi T, Yu DW (2007) The sustainability of subsistence hunting by Matsigenka native communities in Manu National Park, Peru. Conservation Biology 21:1174–1185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rabinowitz A, Myint T, Khaing ST, Rabinowitz S (1999) Description of the leaf deer (Muntiacus putaoensis), a new species of muntjac from northern Myanmar. Journal of Zoology 249:427–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rao M, Rabinowitz A, Khaing ST (2002) Status review of the protected area system in Myanmar, with recommendations for conservation planning. Conservation Biology 16:360–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rao M, Myint T, Zaw T, Htun S (2005) Hunting patterns in tropical forests adjoining the Hkakaborazi National Park, North Myanmar. Oryx 39:292–300Google Scholar
  42. Rappole JH, Renner SC, Shew NM, Sweet PR (2005) A new species of Jabouilleia from the sub-Himalayan region of Myanmar. Auk 122:1064–1069CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Robinson J, Bennett EL (eds) (2000) Hunting for sustainability in tropical forests. Columbia University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  44. Rowcliffe JM, Milner-Gulland EJ, Cowlishaw G (2005) Do bushmeat consumers have other fish to fry? Trends Ecol Evol 20:274–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Shepherd CR, Nijman V (2007a) An assessment of wildlife trade at Mong La market on the Myanmar-China border. TRAFFIC Bull 21:85–88Google Scholar
  46. Shepherd CR, Nijman V (2007b) The trade in bear parts from Myanmar: an illustration of the ineffectiveness of enforcement of international wildlife trade regulations. Biodiversity and Conservation 17:35–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) (1994) The protection of wildlife and protected areas law. (Law No. 6/94). 8 June 1994. Yangon, MyanmarGoogle Scholar
  48. Stattersfield AJ, Crosby MJ, Long AJ, Wege DC (1998) Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for biodiversity conservation. BirdLife International, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  49. Steinberg DI (2001) Burma: the state of Myanmar. Georgetown University Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  50. Terborgh J, Nunez-Iturri G, Pitman NCA, CornejoValverde FH, Alvarez P, Swamy V, Pringle EG, Paine CET (2008) Tree recruitment in an empty forest. Ecology 89:1757–1768CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. van Dijk, PP, Tordoff, AW, Fellowes J, Lau M and Jinshuang M (2004) Indo-Burma. In: Mittermeier RA, Gil R, Hoffmann M, Pilgrim J, Brooks T, Mittermeier CG, Lamoreaux J, da Fonseca GAB (eds) Hotspots revisited: earth’s biologically richest and most endangered terrestrial ecoregions. CEMEX, Monterrey; Conservation International, Washington; Agrupacion Sierra Madre, Mexico, pp 323–330Google Scholar
  52. Wilkie DS, Starkey M, Abernethy K, Nstame Effa E, Telfer P, Godoy R (2005) Role of prices and wealth in consumer demand for bushmeat in Gabon, Central Africa. Conservation Biology 19:268–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Xu J, Chen L, Lu Y, Fu B (2006) Local people’s perceptions as decision support for protected area management in Wolong Biosphere Reserve, China. Journal of Environmental Management 78:362–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Zaw T, Htun S, Po SHT, Maung M, Lynam AJ, Latt KT, Duckworth JW (2008) Status and distribution of small carnivores in Myanmar. Small Carnivore Conservation 38:2–28Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wildlife Conservation Society SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Wildlife Conservation Society Myanmar ProgramYangonMyanmar
  3. 3.Department of Biological SciencesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations