Mapping Bushmeat Hunting Pressure in Central Africa uri icon

abstract

  • Hunting and trade of wild animals for their meat (bushmeat), especially mammals, is commonplace in tropical forests worldwide. In West and Central Africa, bushmeat extraction has increased substantially during recent decades. Currently, such levels of hunting pose a major threat to native wildlife. In this paper, we compiled published data on hunting offtake of mammals, from a number of studies conducted between 1990 and 2007 in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Republic of Congo. From these data sources, we estimated annual extraction rates of all hunted species and analyzed the relationship between environmental and anthropogenic variables surrounding each hunting rate and levels of bushmeat extraction. We defined hunting pressure as a function of bushmeat offtake and number of hunted species and confirm that hunting pressure is significantly correlated with road density, distance to protected areas and population density. These correlations are then used to map hunting pressure across the Congo Basin. We show that predicted risk areas show a patchy distribution throughout the study region and that many protected areas are located in high-risk areas. We suggest that such a map can be used to identify areas of greatest impact of hunting to guide large-scale conservation planning initiatives for central Africa
  • Hunting and trade of wild animals for their meat (bushmeat), especially mammals, is commonplace in tropical forests worldwide. In West and Central Africa, bushmeat extraction has increased substantially during recent decades. Currently, such levels of hunting pose a major threat to native wildlife. In this paper, we compiled published data on hunting offtake of mammals, from a number of studies conducted between 1990 and 2007 in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Republic of Congo. From these data sources, we estimated annual extraction rates of all hunted species and analyzed the relationship between environmental and anthropogenic variables surrounding each hunting rate and levels of bushmeat extraction. We defined hunting pressure as a function of bushmeat offtake and number of hunted species and confirm that hunting pressure is significantly correlated with road density, distance to protected areas and population density. These correlations are then used to map hunting pressure across the Congo Basin. We show that predicted risk areas show a patchy distribution throughout the study region and that many protected areas are located in high-risk areas. We suggest that such a map can be used to identify areas of greatest impact of hunting to guide large-scale conservation planning initiatives for central Africa.
  • Resume La chasse et le commerce d'animaux sauvages pour la viande de brousse, en particulier les mammiferes, sont des activites courantes dans les forets tropicales a travers le monde. En Afrique occidentale et centrale, l'extraction de la viande de brousse a considerablement augmente au cours des dernieres decennies. Actuellement, cette pression de chasse significative constitue une menace majeure pour la faune indigene. Dans cet article, nous avons compile les donnees publiees sur le prelevement de la chasse des mammiferes, a partir d'un certain nombre d'etudes effectuees entre 1990 et 2007 au Cameroun, en Republique Centrafricaine, en Republique Democratique du Congo, en Guinee Equatoriale, au Gabon et en Republique du Congo. Au regard de ces donnees, nous avons estime les taux d'extraction annuels de toutes les especes chassees, ainsi que la relation des variables environnementales et anthropiques par rapport au taux de chasse et aux niveaux d'extraction de la viande de brousse. Nous avons defini la pression de chasse en fonction du prelevement de la viande de brousse et le nombre d'especes chassees et ainsi nous avons pu confirmer que la pression de chasse est significativement correlee avec la densite routiere, la distance aux aires protegees et la densite de population. Ces correlations ont ensuite ete utilisees pour cartographier la pression de chasse a travers le bassin du Congo. Ainsi, nous avons demontre que les zones a risque predites revelent une distribution inegale dans toute la region d'etude et que de nombreuses aires protegees sont situees dans des zones a haut risque. C'est pourquoi nous suggerons qu'une telle carte puisse etre utilisee pour identifier les zones de grand impact de la chasse afin de guider les initiatives de planification de la conservation a grande echelle pour l'Afrique centrale.

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016
  • 2016