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Title: Bushmeat hunting in Gabon : socio-economics and hunter behaviour
Author: Coad, Lauren Mary
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2008
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Using data collected from two villages in Central Gabon, from August 2003 to March 2005, this thesis explores the place of hunting in the context of village livelihoods. Spatial information on trapping offtakes from 76 hunters over one year, combined with hunter interviews, provides a detailed analysis of village landscape use by hunters, and the biological and social factors influencing hunting behaviour. Whilst hunting is the main livelihood option for village men, hunters were predominantly from richer or middle-income households. However, household wealth is perceived to be more strongly related to ownership of plantations (managed by female members of the household) than to hunting. Although bushmeat was an important source of protein for families, a significant proportion of hunting incomes may not have benefited the household, as they were spent on luxury items. Investigation of commodity chain characteristics from forest to market highlights problems with the use of market data as an indicator of hunting sustainability; only 19 of the species in the original catch were represented in the animals destined for market, and three species accounted for 90% of the individual animals sold. Analysis of individual trap success showed catch rates for these larger-bodied, commercial species were highest in traps furthest from the village, in good quality forest, with low hunting pressure. Hunting strategies and hunter distribution within the landscape were strongly related to hunter age, with hunters of middle age hunting further into the forest, investing more effort, and as a result gaining higher offtakes. The use of the landscape was influenced partly by catch rates, but also by changes in the fabric of the village community as old clan-based structures broke down.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available