The importance of wild meat in the Global South

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Information on the economic importance of wild meat to rural people is mainly based on small case studies conducted in limited geographical areas with high hunting intensities, which impede generalization of results. Through a one-year quarterly income survey of 7978 households in 24 countries across Latin America, Asia, and Africa, we show that 39% of the sampled households, by extrapolation representing ~ 150 million households in the Global South, ‘harvest’ wild meat. On average, wild meat makes up 2% of households’ income of which own consumption accounts for 89%. Reliance on wild meat is highest among the poorest households and inversely related to their reliance on domestic animal income. Seasonally, reliance on wild meat is inversely related to other incomes, suggesting a gap filling function. The fact that hunting is of low economic importance but widespread and mostly for subsistence suggests that wild meat is important in rural households’ diets. Through an approximated yield-effort curve estimation, we show that hunting appears economically sustainable in 78% of the observed communities although in most cases this might represent post-depletion sustainability. Our results imply that the effectiveness of wildlife conservation efforts is likely to be enhanced if rural food security is simultaneously improved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEcological Economics
Pages (from-to)696-705
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Bushmeat, Food Security, Poverty Environment Network, Rural Household Income, Wildlife Conservation

ID: 188876119