Bushmeat hunting in Madagascar: linking science, policy and local livelihoods
For decades, species-based conservation efforts in Madagascar paid little attention to the issue of hunting as a pressure on native wildlife. In 2008 Bangor University started working with the Malagasy NGO Madagasikara Voakajy to investigate the bushmeat issue in Madagascar. With funding from the UK government’s Darwin Initiative we carried out intensive field reseasrch in six regions of Madagascar on the scale of the bushmeat problem, the contribution of bushmeat to local livlihoods, and explored the potential risks of zoonotic disease transfer to humans from hunting bats.
Results of this work have been published in PLOS ONE, Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, Oryx, Madagascar Conservation and Development and Animal Conservation and nine Malagasy students completed their Diplôme d’Etude Approfondies (MSc equivalent) as part of the project so far, reciving tranning in conservation research. The project has also resulted in a draft national bushmeat strategy (see here for details) and contributed to significantly raising the profile of bushmeat hunting in Madagascar as a serious threat to the island’s biodiversity.
We continue to collaborate with Madagasikara Voakajy on this issue and one of their staff is currently completing an MSc degree (Conservation and Land Management) with us her in Bangor; doing her dissertation research on the role alternative livlihood projects can play in tackling bushmeat hunting.