Explanatory factors for household involvement in illegal bushmeat hunting around Serengeti, Tanzania

Publication Year:

Bushmeat hunting, i.e., the hunting of wildlife for consumption, is a widespread and well-researched phenomenon. Here, we add to the literature on the factors that explain household engagement in hunting by asking how situational factors (such as distance from potential hunting grounds) and household-related variables both at the individual and at the social level (such as perceptions of law enforcement, relative wealth and ethnic background) are related to hunting activities. However, bushmeat hunting is inherently challenging to investigate as it is usually illegal. In this study, conducted in western Serengeti, Tanzania (n = 196 households in 12 villages), we used a variable that can be (and sometimes indeed is) incorporated in dietary recall surveys. This variable elicited the provenance of the bushmeat consumed, thereby avoiding direct statements about hunting activities. Counts of bushmeat sourced from household members were interpreted as a proxy for household engagement in hunting. In a binomial generalised linear model, perceived own relative wealth, perceived effectiveness of law enforcement, distance from the nearest protected area and ethnicity all significantly explained variation in counts of home-sourced bushmeat over 10 months. Our approach is useful for investigating changes in perceptions of household wealth and law enforcement and their effects on hunting over time, and could contribute substantially to a better understanding of the dynamics of hunting in response to conservation and development interventions. Keywords: Dietary recall, Illegal hunting, Poaching, Wildlife.

Publication Title:

Journal for Nature Conservation

Item Type:
Journal Article

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