Forest cover and social relations are more important than economic factors in driving hunting and bushmeat consumption in post-frontier Amazonia

Torres, Patricia Carignano and Morsello, Carla and Parry, Luke and Pardini, Renata (2021) Forest cover and social relations are more important than economic factors in driving hunting and bushmeat consumption in post-frontier Amazonia. Biological Conservation, 253. ISSN 0006-3207

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Abstract

Identifying the economic drivers of hunting and bushmeat consumption is crucial for understanding whether economic growth in tropical forest regions can foster poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation. However, studies investigating those drivers have drawn contrasting conclusions. Some authors attribute inconsistent findings to heterogeneous spatial and environmental contexts, yet other studies indicate that social factors may predominate over economical determinants. Here, we investigate bushmeat hunting and consumption by analyzing the relative importance of household-scale economic factors in diverse spatial and environmental contexts. We surveyed 240 households distributed across twenty diverse rural landscapes in a post-frontier region in Brazilian Amazonia. Our results show that hunting is more likely in locations with higher forest cover, where game availability is expected to be higher. In contrast, bushmeat consumption is widespread even in deforested landscapes near to urban centers. However, we find no evidence that household-scale economic factors determine variation in rural bushmeat consumption, regardless of spatial or environmental context. Consequently, we infer that future growth in income or wealth would be unlikely to significantly change patterns of bushmeat hunting and consumption. Instead, we find that eating bushmeat is mainly dependent on the hunting of relatively common species for subsistence and food sharing, rather than through market exchange. This demonstrates an important informal economy maintained by social relations. Work is needed to evaluate the sustainability of hunting these small to medium-sized species given they evidently provide useful ecosystem service to poor households and are likely to support social relations in rural Amazonia.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Biological Conservation
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Biological Conservation. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Biological Conservation, 253, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108823
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2309
Subjects:
ID Code:
150099
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
18 Dec 2020 10:45
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
01 Dec 2021 12:40