6 Jul 2009
A Study of the Basic Reproductive Biology of Tropical Forest Mammals to Aid Sustainable Hunting
Identify a suite of appropriate initiatives and policy responses to aid managing the system sustainably, whilst minimising impacts on consumers and livelihoods.
This study aims to understand the current status of wildlife in an important area of biodiversity in W. Africa: Pico Basilé, Bioko Island. I will examine impact on prey species of villagers surrounding the study site, and explore socio-economic drivers of bushmeat hunting. “El Pico” houses many threatened species. By understanding the level of dependence on bushmeat of the surrounding human populations, I will investigate how policies aimed at controlling hunting and trade can be implemented. I will identify a suite of appropriate initiatives and policy responses to aid managing the system sustainably, whilst minimising impacts on consumers and livelihoods. In this work, six Ecuato-Guinean university students from the Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial (UNGE), will deeply participate.
The different stages of the project are the following:
1- Bushmeat market
One year’s daily data recording (number, price, origin and conservation status of carcasses, etc) in Malabo market. The aim here is to estimate bushmeat volume extracted from the study region and identify species reaching the main market. Socio-economic profiles of consumers will also be determined, to establish whether hunted species are a nutritional necessity or commodity.
2- Consumers and producers
Semi-structured interviews applied during one year in 10 main villages surrounding El Pico. By understanding socioeconomic status (and structure) of these villages, food consumption patterns (essential for accurate estimates of exploitation, as much bushmeat trade passes through informal channels), I will be able to identify the economic and nutritional importance of bushmeat in the region.
Line transects in all main habitats and hunter-follows undertaken during dry and wet seasons to determine status and distribution of main prey populations (primates, and ungulates). I will be able to establish condition of hunted wildlife in the study area, and denote areas of high and low impacts. This will allow me to map possible source-sink dynamics of the hunted species.
4- Public education/information and spreading results
Undertaking at least two one-week workshops in Malabo (at the start and end of the project) to disseminate and discuss results with all stakeholders.
Publication of results of the study in peer-review journals and made available to the UNGE.
Final report on the practical recommendations resulting from the study to be formally presented to the government and the president of Equatorial Guinea.