Hunting pressure on forest animals in Africa is on the increase
|Bushmeat [Credit: Gunther Merz WWF]|
The sale of bushmeat allows the rural community to purchase products or services which go beyond simple self-sufficiency. This has far-reaching ecological consequences, which ultimately also threaten the existence of the rural population. For example, with the disappearance of the herbivorous animals which serve as seed carriers, the forests disappear in the long term too.
The research team led by Bruno Streit analysed reports published between 1990 and 2007 on the bushmeat on sale on markets in the Congo Basin (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo).
|Bushmeat is shown at the market in Gabun 2012 [Credit: WWF]|
"For a quarter of the total area, we calculated a level of hunting pressure which was somewhat lower", explains Professor Bruno Streit of the Institute of Ecology, Evolution and Diversity at Goethe University Frankfurt. "However, our prediction foresees severe to very severe hunting pressure across 39 percent of the area of the Congo Basin.
This is the case above all in areas with a very dense network of traffic routes, often in proximity to nature reserves", continues Stefan Ziegler of the WWF. Thus the internationally famous Virunga National Park and the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo also lie in such areas.
|Confiscated bushmeat in Dzanga Sangha [Credit: WWF]|
The report stemmed from a joint project between Goethe University Frankfurt, experts in remote sensing at the University of Wurzburg, and conservationists from WWF Germany.
The studies findings appear in the journal Biotropica.
Source: Goethe University Frankfurt [February 09, 2016]
Labels Breakingnews, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ecosystems, Environment, Natural Heritage, Republic of Congo, Wildlife