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Use of Market Data to Assess Bushmeat Hunting Sustainability in Equatorial Guinea

Authors

  • S.M. ALLEBONE-WEBB,

    1. Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, London, NW1 4RY, United Kingdom
    2. Centre for Environmental Policy and Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Division of Biology, Silwood Park Campus, Manor House, Buckhurst Road, Ascot, Berks, SL5 7PY, United Kingdom
    3. Current address: Wildlife Conservation Society, Cambodia Program, P.O. Box 1620, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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  • N.F. KÜMPEL,

    1. Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, London, NW1 4RY, United Kingdom
    2. Centre for Environmental Policy and Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Division of Biology, Silwood Park Campus, Manor House, Buckhurst Road, Ascot, Berks, SL5 7PY, United Kingdom
    3. Current address: Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, London NW1 4RY, United Kingdom
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  • J. RIST,

    1. Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, London, NW1 4RY, United Kingdom
    2. Centre for Environmental Policy and Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Division of Biology, Silwood Park Campus, Manor House, Buckhurst Road, Ascot, Berks, SL5 7PY, United Kingdom
    3. Current address: Project Seahorse, Fisheries Centre, University of British Columba, 2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
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  • G. COWLISHAW,

    1. Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, London, NW1 4RY, United Kingdom
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  • J.M. ROWCLIFFE,

    1. Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, London, NW1 4RY, United Kingdom
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  • E.J. MILNER-GULLAND

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Environmental Policy and Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Division of Biology, Silwood Park Campus, Manor House, Buckhurst Road, Ascot, Berks, SL5 7PY, United Kingdom
      Address correspondence to E.J. Milner-Gulland, email e.j.milner-gulland@imperial.ac.uk
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Address correspondence to E.J. Milner-Gulland, email e.j.milner-gulland@imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

Abstract: Finding an adequate measure of hunting sustainability for tropical forests has proved difficult. Many researchers have used urban bushmeat market surveys as indicators of hunting volumes and composition, but no analysis has been done of the reliability of market data in reflecting village offtake. We used data from urban markets and the villages that supply these markets to examine changes in the volume and composition of traded bushmeat between the village and the market (trade filters) in Equatorial Guinea. We collected data with market surveys and hunter offtake diaries. The trade filters varied depending on village remoteness and the monopoly power of traders. In a village with limited market access, species that maximized trader profits were most likely to be traded. In a village with greater market access, species for which hunters gained the greatest income per carcass were more likely to be traded. The probability of particular species being sold to market also depended on the capture method and season. Larger, more vulnerable species were more likely to be supplied from less-accessible catchments, whereas there was no effect of forest cover or human population density on probability of being sold. This suggests that the composition of bushmeat offtake in an area may be driven more by urban demand than the geographic characteristics of that area. In one market, traders may have reached the limit of their geographical exploitation range, and hunting pressure within that range may be increasing. Our results demonstrate that it is possible to model the trade filters that bias market data, which opens the way to developing more robust market-based sustainability indices for the bushmeat trade.

Abstract

Resumen: El hallazgo de una medida adecuada de la cacería de subsistencia en los bosques tropicales ha sido difícil. Muchos investigadores han utilizado encuestas urbanas del mercado de carne de vida silvestre como indicadores de los volúmenes y composición de la cacería, pero no se ha realizado el análisis de la confiabilidad de los datos de mercado como un reflejo de la captura. Utilizamos datos tomados en mercados urbanos y en los poblados que suministran a esos mercados para examinar los cambios en el volumen y composición de la carne de vida silvestre comercializada entre el poblado y el Mercado (filtros comerciales) en Guinea Ecuatorial. Recolectamos datos con encuestas de mercado y de los diarios de captura de los cazadores. Los filtros comerciales variaron dependiendo de la lejanía del poblado y el poder monopólico de los comerciantes. En un poblado con acceso limitado al mercado, fue más probable que se comercializaran las especies que maximizan las ganancias de los comerciantes. En un poblado con mayor acceso al mercado, las especies con mayor probabilidad de ser comercializadas fueron las que producían el mayor ingreso por animal muerto a los cazadores. La probabilidad de que una especie en particular fuera vendida en el mercado también dependió del método y estación de captura. Especies mayores, más vulnerables, tuvieron mayor probabilidad de ser suministradas desde zonas de captura menos accesibles, mientras que la cobertura forestal y la densidad poblacional no tuvieron efecto sobre la probabilidad de ser vendidas. Esto sugiere que la composición de la captura de carne de vida silvestre en un área puede ser dirigida más por la demanda urbana que por las características geográficas del área. En un mercado, puede que los comerciantes hayan alcanzado el límite de su rango geográfico de explotación, y puede que la presión de cacería en ese rango este incrementando. Nuestros resultados demuestran que es posible modelar los filtros comerciales que sesgan los datos de mercado, lo cual abre el camino para desarrollar índices de sustentabilidad basados en el mercado más robustos para el comercio de carne de vida silvestre.

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