The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Wild meat: a shared resource amongst people and predators

Wild meat: a shared resource amongst people and predators
Wild meat: a shared resource amongst people and predators
Millions of people throughout the tropics consume wild meat. Overhunting reduces food security for people and large predators, yet little is known of the impact of hunting in systems where people and predators target the same prey species. We collate published data on predator diet in Belize with interview data about the consumption of wild and domestic meat by Belizeans, to compare the wild-meat diets of humans, jaguars Panthera onca and pumas Puma concolor and assess the sustainability of the combined offtake by humans and jaguars. Six wild mammal species (nine-banded armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus, paca Cuniculus paca, collared peccary Pecari tajacu, white-lipped peccary Tayassu pecari, red brocket deer Mazama americana and white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus) comprised 7% of the animal-protein meals eaten by Belizeans. Overall, 80% of these meals were eaten by 20% of interviewees, suggesting a necessary role of wild meat for the minority. The same species were found in 69 and 86% of jaguar and puma scats, respectively. We estimate a national annual harvest of c. 4,000 tonnes of these six wild mammals by humans and jaguars, of which 78% is hunted by people. Sustainability is difficult to evaluate because prey population data are lacking in Belize. However, simple models suggest that a sustainable harvest at this rate would require higher prey population densities than averages recorded in hunted Neotropical forests. We emphasize the need for robust regional estimates of game species densities, to improve assessments of sustainability and inform hunting regulations. We recommend that the requirements of predators as well as those of people be considered when assessing wild meat harvests.
hunting, jaguar, Neotropical forest, prey, puma, sustainable, wild meat
0030-6053
63-75
Foster, R. J.
8de676c6-59f2-4bea-8699-bde823414eb3
Harmsen, B. J.
c84e0703-d49d-4b09-980a-423b09fd5536
Macdonald, D. W.
d4be5933-47a6-4790-add0-df958462bce5
Collins, J.
4547d042-f70c-4563-b1b7-a4bb5e12dbdd
Urbina, Y.
af697929-1206-4b6a-99a3-9427b56ce37f
Garcia, R.
55cc4650-b47b-4991-be54-3959909792c5
Doncaster, C. P.
0eff2f42-fa0a-4e35-b6ac-475ad3482047
Foster, R. J.
8de676c6-59f2-4bea-8699-bde823414eb3
Harmsen, B. J.
c84e0703-d49d-4b09-980a-423b09fd5536
Macdonald, D. W.
d4be5933-47a6-4790-add0-df958462bce5
Collins, J.
4547d042-f70c-4563-b1b7-a4bb5e12dbdd
Urbina, Y.
af697929-1206-4b6a-99a3-9427b56ce37f
Garcia, R.
55cc4650-b47b-4991-be54-3959909792c5
Doncaster, C. P.
0eff2f42-fa0a-4e35-b6ac-475ad3482047

Foster, R. J., Harmsen, B. J., Macdonald, D. W., Collins, J., Urbina, Y., Garcia, R. and Doncaster, C. P. (2016) Wild meat: a shared resource amongst people and predators. Oryx, 50 (1), 63-75. (doi:10.1017/S003060531400060X).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Millions of people throughout the tropics consume wild meat. Overhunting reduces food security for people and large predators, yet little is known of the impact of hunting in systems where people and predators target the same prey species. We collate published data on predator diet in Belize with interview data about the consumption of wild and domestic meat by Belizeans, to compare the wild-meat diets of humans, jaguars Panthera onca and pumas Puma concolor and assess the sustainability of the combined offtake by humans and jaguars. Six wild mammal species (nine-banded armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus, paca Cuniculus paca, collared peccary Pecari tajacu, white-lipped peccary Tayassu pecari, red brocket deer Mazama americana and white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus) comprised 7% of the animal-protein meals eaten by Belizeans. Overall, 80% of these meals were eaten by 20% of interviewees, suggesting a necessary role of wild meat for the minority. The same species were found in 69 and 86% of jaguar and puma scats, respectively. We estimate a national annual harvest of c. 4,000 tonnes of these six wild mammals by humans and jaguars, of which 78% is hunted by people. Sustainability is difficult to evaluate because prey population data are lacking in Belize. However, simple models suggest that a sustainable harvest at this rate would require higher prey population densities than averages recorded in hunted Neotropical forests. We emphasize the need for robust regional estimates of game species densities, to improve assessments of sustainability and inform hunting regulations. We recommend that the requirements of predators as well as those of people be considered when assessing wild meat harvests.

This record has no associated files available for download.

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 21 November 2014
Published date: 1 January 2016
Keywords: hunting, jaguar, Neotropical forest, prey, puma, sustainable, wild meat
Organisations: Environmental

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 372475
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/372475
ISSN: 0030-6053
PURE UUID: 720a1316-d6b8-4461-b119-98fea9f79cfc
ORCID for C. P. Doncaster: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9406-0693

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Dec 2014 11:18
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 01:39

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: R. J. Foster
Author: B. J. Harmsen
Author: D. W. Macdonald
Author: J. Collins
Author: Y. Urbina
Author: R. Garcia
Author: C. P. Doncaster ORCID iD

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×