Staff at Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) – University of Copenhagen

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Global patterns and determinants of the economic importance of bushmeat

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Knowledge about the economic role of bushmeat in rural livelihoods mainly stems from small case studies in sites characterised by high hunting intensities, challenging the formation of national-level conservation and development policies. We use the global Poverty Environment Network data to analyse the economic importance of bushmeat to rural households in sites selected with no consideration of the level of bushmeat hunting. Data were gathered from 7978 households in 333 communities across 24 tropical and sub-tropical countries in Latin America, Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. We report prevalence of hunting; absolute bushmeat income (both cash and subsistence income); share of bushmeat income in total household income; and share of bushmeat income obtained in cash. We investigate patterns and determinants of these variables at the community mean level using generalized linear models, focusing on six general hypothesis identified from the literature. Hunting is more prevalent than generally assumed (39%) but contributes less to rural household income than expected (2%) and mainly through own consumption (87%). Bushmeat is more important in smaller and more remote communities, in communities in the middle of the cash income distribution, communities with few domestic animals, in countries characterised by poor governance, and with rising costs of living. We argue that bushmeat is likely to be most important to rural households as a source of protein and micronutrients unavailable through own domestic animal and staple crop production. Wildlife conservation therefore would benefit from policies simultaneously addressing household-level food and nutritional security.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiological Conservation
Pages (from-to)277-287
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2017

ID: 184576131