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Characterising Wildlife Trade Market Supply-Demand Dynamics

McNamara, J; Rowcliffe, M; Cowlishaw, G; Alexander, JS; Ntiamoa_Baidu, Y; Brenya, A; Milner-Gulland, EJ; (2016) Characterising Wildlife Trade Market Supply-Demand Dynamics. PLoS One , 11 (9) , Article e0162972. 10.1371/journal.pone.0162972. Green open access

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Abstract

The trade in wildlife products can represent an important source of income for poor people, but also threaten wildlife locally, regionally and internationally. Bushmeat provides livelihoods for hunters, traders and sellers, protein to rural and urban consumers, and has depleted the populations of many tropical forest species. Management interventions can be targeted towards the consumers or suppliers of wildlife products. There has been a general assumption in the bushmeat literature that the urban trade is driven by consumer demand with hunters simply fulfilling this demand. Using the urban bushmeat trade in the city of Kumasi, Ghana, as a case study, we use a range of datasets to explore the processes driving the urban bushmeat trade. We characterise the nature of supply and demand by explicitly considering three market attributes: resource condition, hunter behaviour, and consumer behaviour. Our results suggest that bushmeat resources around Kumasi are becoming increasingly depleted and are unable to meet demand, that hunters move in and out of the trade independently of price signals generated by the market, and that, for the Kumasi bushmeat system, consumption levels are driven not by consumer choice but by shortfalls in supply and consequent price responses. Together, these results indicate that supply-side processes dominate the urban bushmeat trade in Kumasi. This suggests that future management interventions should focus on changing hunter behaviour, although complementary interventions targeting consumer demand are also likely to be necessary in the long term. Our approach represents a structured and repeatable method to assessing market dynamics in information-poor systems. The findings serve as a caution against assuming that wildlife markets are demand driven, and highlight the value of characterising market dynamics to inform appropriate management.

Type: Article
Title: Characterising Wildlife Trade Market Supply-Demand Dynamics
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162972
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0162972
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 McNamara 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.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1515802
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