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Socioeconomic changes influence hunter behavior in the northern periphery of Dja Faunal Reserve, Cameroon

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Abstract The hunter is the key actor in unsustainable hunting of bushmeat in African forests and his behavior is driven by socioeconomic factors among others. However, not much is known about the effectiveness of incentive-based conservation actions providing socioeconomic benefits to reduce hunting. This study, therefore, examined how changes in the socioeconomic situation of hunters brought about by reciprocal environmental agreements affects their hunting behavior. During a project implemented near the Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon), we recorded changes in socioeconomic characteristics of hunters for 15?months spanning 3?years. Bushmeat offtake and hunting effort parameters were also recorded. Comparisons of the evolution of these parameters over the years were made between hunters who signed the agreements and those who did not. We found that signatory hunters were older and had larger households than non-signatories, and they earned more income from cocoa sales. Although both groups of hunters had similar characteristics regarding hunting behavior at the start of the project, signatory hunters harvested less bushmeat at the end of project. More time was spent in hunting by non-signatory hunters compared to signatories who hunted less at the end of our monitoring period. Signatory hunters hunted less with firearms than non-signatories, and they consumed more and sold less of their catches compared to non-signatories. This study underlines the importance of reciprocal environmental agreements as an incentive-based conservation scheme that can reduce hunting pressure. These findings show that economic incentives provided to individuals through reciprocal environment agreements can promote livelihood paradigm shifts, alleviating poverty, decreasing dependence on natural resources and benefiting animal conservation.
Tijdschrift: Animal Conservation
ISSN: 1367-9430
Jaar van publicatie:2023
Trefwoorden:Bushmeat, hunting behavior, livelihoods, wildlife management, incentive-based conservation, economic incentives, Viande de brousse, comportement de chasse, moyens de subsistance, gestion de la faune