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Analysis of patterns of bushmeat consumption reveals extensive exploitation of protected species in eastern Madagascar.

Jenkins, RKB; Keane, A; Rakotoarivelo, AR; Rakotomboavonjy, V; Randrianandrianina, FH; Razafimanahaka, HJ; Ralaiarimalala, SR; (2011) Analysis of patterns of bushmeat consumption reveals extensive exploitation of protected species in eastern Madagascar. PloS ONE , 6 (12) , Article e27570. 10.1371/journal.pone.0027570. Green open access

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Understanding the patterns of wild meat consumption from tropical forests is important for designing approaches to address this major threat to biodiversity and mitigate potential pathways for transmission of emerging diseases. Bushmeat consumption has been particularly poorly studied in Madagascar, one of the world’s hottest biodiversity hotspots. Studying bushmeat consumption is challenging as many species are protected and researchers must consider the incentives faced by informants. Using interviews with 1154 households in 12 communes in eastern Madagascar, as well as local monitoring data, we investigated the importance of socio-economic variables, taste preference and traditional taboos on consumption of 50 wild and domestic species. The majority of meals contain no animal protein. However, respondents consume a wide range of wild species and 95% of respondents have eaten at least one protected species (and nearly 45% have eaten more than 10). The rural/urban divide and wealth are important predictors of bushmeat consumption, but the magnitude and direction of the effect varies between species. Bushmeat species are not preferred and are considered inferior to fish and domestic animals. Taboos have provided protection to some species, particularly the Endangered Indri, but we present evidence that this taboo is rapidly eroding. By considering a variety of potential influences on consumption in a single study we have improved understanding of who is eating bushmeat and why. Evidence that bushmeat species are not generally preferred meats suggest that projects which increase the availability of domestic meat and fish may have success at reducing demand. We also suggest that enforcement of existing wildlife and firearm laws should be a priority, particularly in areas undergoing rapid social change. The issue of hunting as an important threat to biodiversity in Madagascar is only now being fully recognised. Urgent action is required to ensure that heavily hunted species are adequately protected.

Type: Article
Title: Analysis of patterns of bushmeat consumption reveals extensive exploitation of protected species in eastern Madagascar.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027570
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0027570
Language: English
Additional information: © 2011 Jenkins et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Funding: The work was funded by the United Kingdom government Darwin Initiative (grant 17-1127) (http://darwin.defra.gov.uk/), Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund (http://disney.go.com/disneyhand/environm​entality/dwcf/apply.html), National Geographic Society (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/field/​grants-programs/cre-application.html), IUCN Netherlands (http://www.terravivagrants.org/Home/fund​ing-news/new-and-changed-grants-programs​/iucn-netherlandssmallconservationgrants​in2011), Rufford Foundation (http://www.rufford.org/) and SeaWorld and Busch Gardens (http://www.swbg-conservationfund.org/). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Ambatovy Minerals provided some matched funding to the authors' project on the condition that the authors included areas covered by their mine in the study. However, they did not have any involvement in the design of the survey or in selecting specific study villages (just the communes in which the authors were to work; communes are large administrative units covering many 1000s of people). Conservation International similarly had no involvement in the design of the study or selecting of study villages or households. However, they also provided funding to the project on the condition that the authors included communes within their zone of intervention around a new protected area.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1341911
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