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Rural Bushmeat Consumption Within Multiple-use Protected Areas: Qualitative Evidence from Southwest Madagascar

Abstract

Ensuring the sustainability of bushmeat consumption is critical for both biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation in tropical developing countries, yet we know little about the role of hunting and bushmeat consumption in the daily lives of rural communities. We provide the first detailed, qualitative examination of bushmeat hunting activities conducted by a rural community within one of Madagascar’s new, multiple-use protected areas, in order to inform appropriate management strategies. Results suggest that most species are eaten, but that few are favoured above domestic meat. Hunting is generally a secondary pursuit, carried out opportunistically during the course of other activities, although its importance does increase in times of food stress. Management focused on increasing domestic meat availability and directing hunting effort away from sensitive species may improve the sustainability of hunting, but development interventions to reduce forest dependence may be required to promote conservation and poverty alleviation simultaneously.

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Acknowledgements

We are extremely grateful to the participants from the Ranobe community who agreed to be interviewed. The research was funded through an African Bird Club conservation grant, and supported logistically by WWF Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean Programme Office. Assistance with translation was provided by J. J. Duchene and Eonintsoa. T. Roberts provided valuable advice and comments on an earlier draft of the paper.

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Gardner, C.J., Davies, Z.G. Rural Bushmeat Consumption Within Multiple-use Protected Areas: Qualitative Evidence from Southwest Madagascar. Hum Ecol 42, 21–34 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-013-9629-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-013-9629-1

Keywords

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Forest resource-use
  • Hunting
  • Poverty alleviation
  • Sustainable use