Wildlife harvest and consumption in Amazonia's urbanized wilderness

Parry, Luke and Barlow, Jos and Pereira, Heloisa Correia (2014) Wildlife harvest and consumption in Amazonia's urbanized wilderness. Conservation Letters, 7 (6). pp. 565-574. ISSN 1755-263X

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Urbanization of forested wilderness could threaten biodiversity if expanding cities drive demand for wildlife as food. We examined the scale and drivers of urban wildlife consumption in the forested pre-frontier of Brazilian Amazonia, defined as municipalities (n = 73) with over 90% of their original forest cover still intact. A representative survey of two pre-frontier cities indicated that virtually all urban households consume wildlife, including fish (99%), bush-meat (mammals and birds) (79%), chelonians (48%) and caimans (28%) – alarming evidence of an under-reported wild-meat crisis in the heart of Amazonia. We also report rapid growth of cities and inadequate resources to deter illegal consumption in this urbanized wilderness covering 1.86 million square kilometres. We evaluate relevant policy levers and conclude that poverty-alleviation programs may accelerate a long-term transition from consumption of wildlife as an economical source of protein for the poor to luxury food for the wealthy. We argue that innovative environmental governance could limit wildlife consumption to only harvest-tolerant species. Researchers and policy-makers should engage with policies and ideas that promote poverty alleviation and supply poor city-dwellers with affordable alternatives to eating wildlife.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Conservation Letters
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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Parry, L., Barlow, J. and Pereira, H. (2014), Wildlife Harvest and Consumption in Amazonia's Urbanized Wilderness. Conservation Letters, 7: 565–574. doi: 10.1111/conl.12151, which has been published in final form at doi: 10.1111/conl.12151 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
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19 Nov 2014 14:15
Last Modified:
28 May 2023 02:35