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Although overhunting is amongst the main threats to biodiversity, wild meat is culturally and nutritionally important for many communities. Conservation initiatives should therefore address the drivers of hunting, rather than its practice alone. Here we gathered information from structured interviews with 68 local households to assess the drivers of hunting in a highly threatened Amazonian savannah complex, the Cerrado of Amapá in Brazil. We used regression models to evaluate the influence of socio-economic parameters and spatial variables on hunting prevalence and frequency. The only identified driver of hunting prevalence was forest cover, whereas five variables had significant effects on hunting frequency. The positive effect of forest cover and the negative effect of hunter's age on hunting frequency suggest that logistical and physical feasibility are important drivers of hunting frequency. Furthermore, we suggest that the negative effect of distance to urban centres may be related to the profitability of hunting. We base this on the negative effect of river length in the vicinity of households and per capita monthly income on hunting frequency, which corroborates the tendency of hunting frequency to decrease when alternatives to wild meat are more readily available. We argue that to reduce unsustainable hunting it is necessary both to raise awareness amongst local communities and involve them in the creation of management plans that conserve biodiversity and meet economic and social needs.
So-called desert kites have been found widely in the Middle East and Central Asia. The newly discovered Keimoes 3 site in the Nama Karoo, however, represents one of only three known desert kite sites in southern Africa. The complex comprises 14 funnels arranged in three groups around a small hill. Radiocarbon dates for structures in the region suggest a relative age for the kites of less than 2000 years. The authors demonstrate how strategic use of the site's micro-topography optimised game harvesting, and argue that Keimoes 3 offers robust evidence of Holocene Stone Age hunters engaging in long-term landscape modification as part of their subsistence strategies.
The year that followed Piero’s and Maddalena’s high-ranking marriages in 1488 saw Piero faced with a choice between two different ways of life. On one hand, he had to play his part in the civic life of Florence and learn the political role that he would inherit from Lorenzo. On the other, he had been seduced by his reception in Rome and by the courtly pleasures he had experienced there with Franceschetto and his curial friends. Its impact on him became clear when, at the end of that year, he demanded two of Franceschetto’s men to accompany him to Milan for Gian Galeazzo Sforza’s wedding, ‘because here it’s impossible to find men who are their equal’.1 Like Hercules approaching the crossroads as a young man (according to the well-known tale told by Prodicus), he seemed to be faced by a choice between a rocky uphill path and an easy downhill one.2
The forests of the north-east USA were once home to the wolf Canis lupus, a species that played an important role in the ecology of this region. However, wolves were eradicated from the region more than a century ago, altering the species composition of the landscape and driving cascading changes in this ecosystem. Outdoor recreation is a major component of the economy of this region, and outdoor recreationists, including the hunting community, have a strong influence over decision-making related to policies on natural resources. Given their powerful position, hunters are important stakeholders whose views need to be taken into account when designing policies related to wildlife, in particular in relation to a controversial species such as the wolf. In this study, through expert interviews and an online survey, we gained a deeper understanding of the attitudes of hunters towards wolves, and how these attitudes could affect any future reintroduction programme or natural movement of wolves into the state. We found that the majority of hunters hold a suite of negative attitudes towards wolves, their role in the landscape and their potential impact on the region. However, for hunters who were able to recognize the ecological roles of wolves, these negative attitudes were mostly reversed.
Recent archaeological survey has revealed large numbers of stone structures, known as desert kites, in north-western Libya. The numbers of these structures and their evident adaptation over time demonstrate a longevity of use and a high degree of specialisation and cooperation among the people who built them.
Hunting is a major threat to the endangered jaguar in Brazil. Effective interventions for jaguar conservation demand a better understanding of the prevalence and motivations for hunting. In this study, I investigate the prevalence of jaguar hunting and the potential factors driving the acceptance of this behaviour among residents of two extractive reserves in the eastern Brazilian Amazonia. Between September and October 2013, I surveyed 134 households to assess people’s acceptance of jaguar hunting and potential predictors of acceptance using multiple-item rating scales. To estimate the prevalence of jaguar hunting, I used direct questioning and the randomized response technique. Acceptance of jaguar hunting was neutral to slightly positive on average, being related negatively to educational level and to people’s perceptions of risk of suffering sanctions for hunting a jaguar and related positively to perception of jaguars as a threat to humans. The prevalence rates of jaguar hunting among surveyed households were 9% and 23% according to direct questioning and the randomized response technique, respectively. The results suggest that investments in education and law enforcement may help decrease local support for jaguar hunting in the study area.
Ecosystem services typically benefit multiple groups of people. However, natural resource management decisions aiming to secure ecosystem services for one beneficiary group rarely consider potential consequences for others. Here, we examine records of moose hunting in Vermont, USA, a recreational ecosystem service with at least two beneficiary groups: hunters, who benefit from recreational experiences and moose meat, and residents, who live in hunting areas and benefit from hunters’ expenditures. We ask how the allocation of hunting permits has affected (1) the total number of hunters and therefore the benefits enjoyed by this group, (2) the benefits residents received, and (3) the spatial distribution of benefits for each group. We found that changes in the allocation of permits had heterogeneous effects on the beneficiaries. For example, increasing the number of hunting permits increased the total number of hunters, but not necessarily the number of residents who potentially benefit. Also, a more balanced distribution of permits across Vermont increased the total number of potentially benefiting residents, but not those from lower socio-economic groups. Understanding these differences and interactions between beneficiary groups is necessary to distribute benefits equitably amongst them.
The Cerros del Sira in Peru is known to hold a diverse composition of endemic birds, amphibians and plants as a result of its geographical isolation, yet its mammalian community remains poorly known. There is increasing awareness of the threats to high-elevation species but studying them is often hindered by rugged terrain. We present the first camera-trap study of the mammal community of the Cerros del Sira. We used 45 camera traps placed at regular elevational intervals over 800–1,920 m, detecting 34 medium-sized and large mammal species. Eight are listed as threatened on the IUCN Red List, three are categorized as Data Deficient and one is yet to be assessed. Although other authors have reported that the upper elevations of the Cerros del Sira are free from hunting, we found evidence of hunting activity occurring above 1,400 m, and inside the core protected area. In addition to this direct evidence of hunting, recent information has identified significant amounts of canopy loss in the northern reaches of the core zone. Despite widespread ecological degradation in the surrounding lowlands, the high-elevation areas of the Cerros del Sira still maintain a unique assemblage of lowland and highland tropical rainforest mammals. It has been assumed that the Cerros del Sira and other similar remote locations are safe from disturbance and protected by their isolation but we suggest this is an increasingly dangerous assumption to make, and secure protection strategies need to be developed.
This article looks at the characteristic shirts of the donso, or initiated Mande hunters. Often described in the literature as visual displays of the wearer’s power, in the context of contemporary Burkina Faso these shirts are instead an example of how hunters deal with representations of power through an aesthetics of concealment (Ferme 2001). An excess of display is conversely connected with the politics of state-recognized hunters’ associations. Issues of ecological change, local conceptions of power, and contemporary struggles with state authority intersect in the practices and discourses on hunters’ shirts.
Cooperative hunting with multiple Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) not only needs the AUVs to cooperate, but also demands real-time path planning to catch up with evading targets. In this paper a time-based alliance mechanism to form efficient dynamic hunting alliances is proposed. After that, during the active hunting stage, an improved neural network model based on a Glasius Bio-inspired Neural Network (GBNN) is presented for path planning to immediately achieve tracking of an intelligent target. This study shows that the improved GBNN model has good performance in real-time hunting path planning. From the simulation studies as described in this paper, both the hunting alliance formation mechanism and the proposed real-time hunting path planning strategy show their advantages. The results show that the improved GBNN model proposed in this paper can work well in the control of multiple AUVs to hunt for intelligent evading targets in environments containing obstacles.
Hunting is a major threat to wildlife, and the use of dogs for subsistence hunting may significantly impact wildlife. I assessed the impacts of hunting with dogs by comparing the assemblages of species hunted by the Huni Kuin with and without dogs in indigenous lands in southwestern Brazilian Amazonia. I also assessed whether Huni Kuin agreements on hunting with dogs can be effective for conservation. Huni Kuin hunters with dogs rely on a different assemblage of prey than those without dogs; the former strategy targets mainly fast-reproducing, resilient species, whereas the latter method kills several sensitive or threatened species. Hunting with dogs is also limited to disturbed mixed landscapes near villages because the dogs are used to protect crops and are not allowed into forests in order to prevent them from becoming lost. Additionally, compared to hunting without dogs, hunting with dogs results in an equivalent amount of meat with the use of less effort and ammunition. Moreover, hunting with dogs is not associated with an increase in the distance of prey from villages. Therefore, there is no conservation-related reason to prohibit hunting with mixed-breed dogs in subsistence communities. Nevertheless, community agreements mediate local conflicts caused by the social inequalities related to hunting with dogs.
Rigorous status estimates of populations of large carnivores are necessary to inform their management and help evaluate the effectiveness of conservation interventions. The African leopard Panthera pardus faces rising anthropogenic pressures across most of its contracting sub-Saharan range, but the scarcity of reliable population estimates means that management decisions often have to rely on expert opinion rather than being based on sound evidence. This is particularly true for Mozambique, where little is known about the ecology or conservation status of leopard populations as a result of prolonged armed conflict. We used camera trapping and spatially explicit capture–recapture models to provide a leopard density estimate in Xonghile Game Reserve in southern Mozambique, which is part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier conservation initiative. The estimated population density was 2.60 ± SE 0.96 leopards/100 km2. Our study provides a baseline leopard density for the region and the first empirical density estimate for southern Mozambique. Our results also suggest that current methods used to set trophy hunting quotas for leopards, both in Mozambique and elsewhere in Africa, may be leading to unsustainable quotas, which highlights the importance of robust empirical data in guiding conservation policy.
Throughout the tropics, hunting and fishing are critical livelihood activities for many Indigenous peoples. However, these practices may not be sustainable following recent socio-economic changes in Indigenous populations. To understand how human population growth and increased market integration affect hunting and fishing patterns, we conducted semi-structured interviews in five Kukama-Kukamilla communities living along the boundary of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, in the Peruvian Amazon. Extrapolated annual harvest rates of fish and game species by these communities amounted to 1,740 t and 4,275 individuals (67 t), respectively. At least 23 fish and 27 game species were harvested. We found a positive correlation between village size and annual community-level harvest rates of fish and a negative relationship between market exposure and mean per-capita harvest rates of fish. Catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) analyses indicated local depletion of fish populations around larger, more commercial communities. Catch-per-unit-effort of fish was lower in more commercial communities and fishers from the largest village travelled further into the Reserve, where CPUE was higher. We found no effect of village size or market exposure on harvest rates or CPUE of game species. However, larger, more commercial communities targeted larger, economically valuable species. This study provides evidence that human population growth and market-driven hunting and fishing pose a growing threat to wildlife and Indigenous livelihoods through increased harvest rates and selective harvesting of species vulnerable to exploitation.
This article interprets the life conditions of woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) from the Upper Paleolithic archaeological site Kraków Spadzista in Poland. We propose that the mammoths’ irregular mortality profile (also known as age profile) was shaped over several decades by major death events, which serially depleted the youngest cohorts. Taphonomic data and comparisons with other Eurasian archaeological and nonarchaeological sites provide context for hypothesizing that the mammoth-bone assemblage was accumulated at least partly through opportunistic human hunting of the most vulnerable animals in mixed herds. Humans exploited heightened mammoth vulnerability during climatic stress periods, killing and butchering most of the animals, although some mammoths in the assemblage may have died from natural causes. The evidence for environmental stress affecting the mammoths includes paleoecological data about local climatic conditions, the abundant signs of mammoth-bone abnormalities in the assemblage, the relatively smaller size of adult female mammoths compared with those from the similarly dated archaeological site Milovice I (Czech Republic), and the unusually high proportion of juvenile mammoths in the assemblage.
The lakeshores of western Switzerland are one of Europe's best-known Neolithic settlement areas, thanks to dendrochronological dating and the exceptional preservation of organic materials. Against this outstanding background, this study uses zooarchaeological data to answer a series of questions regarding the Neolithic economy, environment and human-environment interactions at these lakeshore sites. It also discusses, within an interdisciplinary framework, the possible impact climatic fluctuations, cultural influence, topographical conditions, and demographic growth had on economic change. The results show that the faunal economy was mainly based on animal husbandry, with fluctuations in the cattle-pig ratio. Hunting also played an important role in the food system and focused mainly on large game, especially red deer, which contributed significantly to the meat supply. The results from comparing these animal bone remains also show that multiple factors, such as topography, climatic conditions, and cultural influence, played a part in the socio-economic organisation of the Neolithic communities. Exploratory procedures such as correspondence analysis support these interpretations.
In the Arctic, rapid climate change has kindled efforts to delineate and project the future of important habitats for marine birds and mammals. These animals are vital to subsistence economies and cultures, so including the needs of both animals and hunters in conservation planning is key to sustaining social-ecological systems. In the northeast Chukchi Sea, a nearshore corridor of open water is a major spring migration route for half a million eider ducks that are hunted along the landfast ice. Zoning areas for industrial activities or conservation should consider both eider habitat and hunter access to those habitats from the variable ice edge. Based on benthic sampling in 2010‒2012, a model of eider foraging energetics and satellite data on ice patterns in April and May 1997‒2011, we mapped the range of positions of the landfast ice edge relative to a given dispersion of habitat suitable for eider feeding. In some sectors, feeding areas were too limited or too far from landfast ice to provide regular hunting access. In other sectors, overlap of the ice edge with eider feeding habitat was quite variable, but often within a consistent geographic range. Areas accessible to hunters were a small fraction of total eider habitat, so areas adequate for conserving eiders would not necessarily include areas that meet the hunters’ needs. These results can inform spatial planning of industrial activities that yield cash income critical to subsistence hunting in less developed locations. Our study provides an approach for mapping ‘subsistence conservation areas’ throughout the Arctic and an example for such efforts elsewhere.
So-called canned hunts take place within fenced private game ranches and typically target animals bred in captivity solely for that purpose. Thousands of semidomesticated lions form the focal point of South Africa’s canned-hunting industry. Notions of animal welfare, “fair chase,” and conservation have been deployed to varying degrees to sway public opinion surrounding canned hunts in South Africa and abroad. While state regulatory efforts have largely failed to date, the Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH) has successfully promoted stricter controls on the importation of lion trophies in Australia, Europe, and the United States, in part by highlighting the recent death of Cecil, a charismatic lion shot by an American bowhunter in Zimbabwe.
El Médano-style rock art from the Atacama Desert coast in Chile provides one of the most spectacular and expressive representations of ancient marine hunting and maritime traditions. These red pictographs comprise hundreds of hunting scenes and portray a complex marine hunter-gatherer society. This study presents the discovery of El Médano pictographs from new sites—in particular the Izcuña ravine—and seeks to understand further the processes of marine hunting and the interspecies relationships between hunter and prey. When combined with archaeological evidence, this analysis provides important new information concerning the value and significance of this rock art to those ancient hunter-gatherers.