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Title: The dynamics of a bushmeat hunting system under social, economic and environmental change
Author: McNamara, James
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
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The trade in bushmeat for human consumption is an important source of income and food for many people in tropical Africa. Yet it also represents one of the most significant threats to the persistence of wildlife. This threat has been exacerbated in recent decades as the trade has become increasingly commercial in nature, and previously pristine habitats have been degraded due to agriculture and extractive industries. These agricultural, production landscapes are increasingly the face of rural Africa, particularly West Africa. Understanding how economic and landscape-level pressures influence hunting behaviour in these production landscapes will be critical to developing effective management policies that are able to address both development and conservation agendas. This study uses a unique 26-year dataset, collected in the Atwemonom market in Kumasi, Ghana, to examine the spatio-temporal dynamics of the bushmeat trade in the region. A multidisciplinary, multi-scale approach is adopted to present a holistic overview of the trade. Four analyses are presented. Firstly, a framework is developed to assess the degree to which the trade is driven by the demands of the consumer, or the behaviour of the hunter. Secondly, an econometric supply and demand model based on available market data is tested and implemented to analyse the drivers of supply and demand in the commercial system. Thirdly, a spatial model is designed to explore how the biophysical characteristics of the landscape influence what is harvested, from where it is harvested and how this has changed over time. Finally, the findings of these three approaches are used to inform a scenario analysis that explores the socioeconomic factors determining a hunter's willingness to adapt their behaviour in light of changing incentives to participate. The findings highlight the importance of the production landscape for supporting the bushmeat trade in the region and present evidence that suggests the trade around Kumasi may be defined more by drivers of supply (hunter behaviour) than demand (consumer preference). This raises concerns about the effectiveness of demand side management. The results emphasise the need for integrated approaches to bushmeat management that consider the full range of social, economic and environmental drivers.
Supervisor: Milner-Gulland, E. J. Sponsor: Imperial College London
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available