Importance, cause and effect of bushmeat hunting in the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania: Implications for community based wildlife management

Nielsen, M.R. (2006) Importance, cause and effect of bushmeat hunting in the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania: Implications for community based wildlife management. Biological Conservation, 128 (4). pp. 509-516.

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Community Based Wildlife Management (CBWM) has been suggested as a conservation strategy in response to bushmeat hunting in the Udzungwa Mountains within the Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot. The feasibility of CBWM based on meat cropping was therefore evaluated in New Dabaga/Ulangambi Forest Reserve (NDUFR). Comparison of relative wildlife densities with West Kilombero Scarp Forest Reserve, which is subject to only low hunting pressure, indicate that most relevant populations are severely depleted (Cephalophus monticola, C. harveyi and C. spadix, Potamochoerus larvatus) and hence that sustainable harvesting currently is not possible in NDUFR. Records of catch from hunters in the villages surrounding NDUFR indicate that bushmeat is of relatively low importance in terms of use and contribution to protein intake. Proximity to NDUFR and secondarily population size in the different villages is positively correlated with hunting intensity and depletion of wildlife. Comparisons between hunters and non-hunters in terms of wealth measures show that hunting is linked to poverty and low protein intake. An estimation of maximum sustainable harvest in NDUFR reveals that CBWM only has limited capacity to reduce these causes of hunting, maintain the communities’ interest and offset the opportunity costs of conservation. Results of this study suggest that conservation efforts in NDUFR should focus on protecting wildlife against exploitation instead of encouraging use and dependence through CBWM. Supporting efforts should attempt to facilitate a complete shift to domestic sources of meat, by increasing the number of domestic animals in the poorest part of the population.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: I am grateful to all the hunters in the Dabaga area for trusting me with their names and information regarding their hunting activities and to Bonny Kisoma and Lactal Mmehwa who worked as assistants during fieldwork. I am also indebt to MEMA, which funded this study through the DANIDA and the Danish government. Thanks also to Jon Fjeldsa˚, E.J. Milner-Gulland, Thomas Struhsaker, Lars Dinesen, Daniella de Luca and Elmer Topp-Jørgensen for useful information and comments on earlier drafts.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bushmeat hunting, CBWM, Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania
Author Affiliation: University of Copenhagen, Zoological Museum, Denmark
Subjects: Social Sciences
Environmental Science
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Arbind Seth
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2013 09:22
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2013 09:22
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