Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 11, Issue 10, pp 1845–1868

Do levels of income explain differences in game abundance? An empirical test in two Honduran villages

  • Josefien Demmer
  • Ricardo Godoy
  • David Wilkie
  • Han Overman
  • Mohammad Taimur
  • Karin Fernando
  • Reena Gupta
  • Kendra McSweeney
  • Nicholas Brokaw
  • Sangeetha Sriram
  • Tanya Price
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1020305903156

Cite this article as:
Demmer, J., Godoy, R., Wilkie, D. et al. Biodiversity and Conservation (2002) 11: 1845. doi:10.1023/A:1020305903156

Abstract

Although researchers have documented the role of anthropogenic huntingpressure on the abundance of game, few have measured the direct effects ofincome or economic development on game abundance. Economic theory tends topredict an ambiguous causal relation between income and the abundance of game.Here we test whether income (a standard proxy of economic development) erodesthe abundance of game in two Tawahka Amerindian villages in the rain forest ofHonduras. The two villages have similar ecologies and weather and lie 17km apart but differ in income, population size, wealth, thepresence of outside institutions, and hunting pressure. A census of animals doneover 2 continuous years suggests that the richer village had less game andrelatively fewer large-bodied animals. At the level of animal groups (e.g.,mammals) or individual species, or when we include controls for the simultaneouseffect of vegetation type, distance from the start of the hunting trail, andtime of the year through a random-effect probit model, the two villages displayno statistically significant differences in game abundance. A random-effect,multivariate tobit model, in fact, suggests that being in the more remotevillage correlated with 43.5% fewer animals seen in any one encounter; resultswere significant at the 99% confidence level. The conclusions contain adiscussion of why income might produce ambiguous effects on game abundance andthe tradeoffs of using bivariate and multivariate techniques to analyze thecovariates of game abundance in the tropical rain forests of the New World.

Animal census Economic development Game abundance Honduras Income Mosquitia Multivariate analysis Tawahka 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josefien Demmer
    • 1
  • Ricardo Godoy
    • 2
  • David Wilkie
    • 3
  • Han Overman
    • 4
  • Mohammad Taimur
    • 2
  • Karin Fernando
    • 2
  • Reena Gupta
    • 2
  • Kendra McSweeney
    • 5
  • Nicholas Brokaw
    • 6
  • Sangeetha Sriram
    • 2
  • Tanya Price
    • 2
  1. 1.Independent researcherUSA
  2. 2.Sustainable International Development Program, Heller School for Social Policy and ManagementBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA
  3. 3.Wildlife Conservation SocietyBronxUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem DynamicsUniversity of AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Department of GeographyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  6. 6.Institute for Tropical Ecosystem StudiesUniversity of Puerto RicoRío PiedrasPuerto Rico

Personalised recommendations