Market Hunting in the Taï Region, Côte d'Ivoire and Implications for Monkey Populations

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We studied the effect of market hunting on primate species in the Taï National Park and adjacent forests in Côte d'Ivoire. We assessed the impact of hunting by comparing the calculated maximal reproduction rate with the current off-take rate. We assessed the average bushmeat consumption per capita/per year from weekly investigations on bushmeat available in 88 bushmeat restaurants and markets over a 12-mo period in 1999. We derived data on preferences for particular game species from interviews of 162 bushmeat consumers, 25 subsistence hunters and 3 groups of professional hunters. Hunting pressure was highest on the larger primate species such red colobus (Procolobus badius), black- and- white colobus (Colobus polykomos) and sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus atys). The amount of primate bushmeat extracted from the Taï National Park and surrounding forests was 249,229 kg in 1999. We estimated population densities using line transect surveys. By referring to current population densities we calculated the maximum production of each species using the Robinson Redford model (2001) and assuming unhunted conditions. A comparison of current harvest levels with maximum production suggests that harvest of Procolobus badius is sustainable, whereas current off-take of Colobus polykomos, Cercocebus atys, Cercopithecus diana (diana monkey) and C. campbelli (Campbell7apos;s monkeys) exceeds sustainability by ≤3 times. We recommend that wildlife managers promote programs that encourage the production of domestic animals as a substitute for wild meat.

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