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Bushmeat consumption in large urban centres in West Africa

Luiselli, Luca and Hema, Emmanuel M and Segniagbeto, Gabriel and Ouattara, Valy and Eniang, Edem A and Parfait, Gnoumou and Akani, Godfrey C and Sirima, Djidama and Fakae, Barineme B and Dendi, Daniele and Fa, John (2018) Bushmeat consumption in large urban centres in West Africa. Oryx. ISSN 0030-6053

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Abstract

Bushmeat consumption in large Sub-Saharan African cities is perceived as a major threat to the conservation of many species because their considerable population sizes can generate a significant demand for bushmeat. The study of the effect of age, sex and geographic location in bushmeat eating in African cities may offer valuable insights on which population groups to target in behaviour change campaigns. Using 2,040 interviews in six West African cities from four countries, in forest and savannah settings, we analysed the differences between age and sex in people’s frequency of bushmeat consumption. Overall, we found similar patterns in all sampled cities. As many as 62.2 % males and 72.1% females replied that they ‘would not eat bushmeat at all’, though only 12.8% males and 8.8% females mentioned they regularly ate bushmeat. Younger generations of both sexes answered that they ‘would never eat bushmeat’ more often than older age groups, independently of their city of origin. These trends are encouraging though further research needs to be undertaken to find out whether bushmeat volumes consumed in cities are unsustainable and having a serious impact of prey populations.

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