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Urban wild meat consumption and trade in Central Amazonia

El Bizri, HR and Morcatty, TQ and Valsecchi, J and Mayor, P and Ribeiro, JES and Vasconcelos Neto, Carlos and Oliveira, Jessica and Furtado, Keilla and Ferreira, UC and Miranda, CFS and Silva, CH and Lopes, VL and Lopes, GP and Florindo, CCF and Chagas, RC and Nijman, V and Fa, John (2019) Urban wild meat consumption and trade in Central Amazonia. Conservation Biology. ISSN 0888-8892

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Abstract

The switch from hunting wild meat for home consumption to supplying more lucrative city marketsin Amazonia can adversely affect some game species. Despite this, information on the amounts of wild meateaten in Amazonian cities is still limited. We estimated wild meat consumption rates in 5 cities in the State ofAmazonas in Brazil through 1046 door-to-door household interviews conducted from 2004 to 2012. With thesedata, we modeled the relationship between wild meat use and a selection of socioeconomic indices. We thenscaled up our model to determine the amounts of wild meat likely to be consumed annually in the 62 urbancenters in central Amazonia. A total of 80.3% of all interviewees reported consuming wild meat during an averageof 29.3 (CI 11.6) days per year. Most wild meat was reported as bought in local markets (80.1%) or hunted by afamily member (14.9%). Twenty-one taxa were cited as consumed, mostly mammals (71.6%), followed by reptiles(23.2%) and then birds (5.2%). The declared frequency of wild meat consumption was positively correlated withthe proportion of rural population as well as with the per capita gross domestic product of the municipality(administrative divisions) where the cities were seated. We estimated that as much as 10,691 t of wild meat mightbe consumed annually in the 62 urban centers within central Amazonia, the equivalent of 6.49 kg per person peryear. In monetary terms, this amounts to US$21.72 per person per year or US$35.1 million overall, the latter figureis comparable to fish and timber production in the region. Given this magnitude of wild meat trade in centralAmazonia, it is fundamental to integrate this activity into the formal economy and actively develop policies thatallow the trade of more resilient taxa and restrict trade in species sensitive to hunting.

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