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Contrasts in Livelihoods and Protein Intake between Commercial and Subsistence Bushmeat Hunters in Two Villages on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea

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Abstract

Across West and Central Africa, wildlife provides a source of food and income. We investigated the relation between bushmeat hunting and household wealth and protein consumption in 2 rural communities in Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. One village was dedicated to commercial hunting, the other trapped game primarily for food. We tested whether commercial‐hunter households were nutritionally advantaged over subsistence‐hunter households due to their higher income from the bushmeat trade and greater access to wild‐animal protein. We conducted bushmeat‐offtake surveys in both villages (captures by hunters and carcasses arriving to each village). Mammals (including threatened primates: black colobus [Colobus satanas], Preussi's guenon [Allochrocebus preussi], and russet‐eared guenon [Cercopithecus erythrotis]), birds, and reptiles were hunted. The blue duiker (Philantomba monticola), giant pouched rat (Cricetomys emini), and brush‐tailed porcupine (Atherurus africanus) contributed almost all the animal biomass hunted, consumed, or sold in both villages. Monkeys and Ogilbyi's duikers (Cephalophus ogilbyi) were hunted only by commercial hunters. Commercial hunters generated a mean of US$2000/year from bushmeat sales. Households with commercial hunters were on average wealthier, generated more income, spent more money on nonessential goods, and bought more products they did not grow. By contrast, households with subsistence hunters spent less on market items, spent more on essential products, and grew more of their own food. Despite these differences, average consumption of vegetable protein and domestic meat and bushmeat protein did not differ between villages. Our results highlight the importance of understanding the socioeconomic and nutritional context of commercial and subsistence bushmeat hunting to correctly interpret ways of reducing their effects on threatened species and to enable the sustainable offtake of more productive taxa.

Contrastes en el Sustento y la Ingesta de Proteínas entre Carne de Caza de Subsistencia y Comercial en Dos Aldeas en Isla Bioko, Guinea Ecuatorial
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Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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