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LED flashlight technology facilitates wild meat extraction across the tropics

Bowler, M and Beirne, C and Tobler, MW and Anderson, M and DiPaola, A and Fa, John and Gilmore, M and Lemos, LP and Mayor, P and Meier, A and Menie Menie, G and Meza, D and Moreno-Gutierrez, D and Poulsen, JR and de Souza Jesus, A and Valsecchi, J and El Bizri, HR (2020) LED flashlight technology facilitates wild meat extraction across the tropics. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. ISSN 1540-9295 (In Press)

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Abstract

Hunting for wild meat in the tropics provides subsistence and income for millions 29 of people. Methods have remained relatively unchanged since the introduction of 30 shotguns and battery-powered incandescent flashlights, but due to the short life of batteries in such flashlights, nocturnal hunting has been limited. However, brighter, 32 more efficient light-emitting diode (LED) flashlights, have recently been adopted by 33 hunters. Brighter spotlights increase the freezing response of many species, and 34 greater battery life allows hunters to pursue game for longer and more frequently. 35 Hunters interviewed in African and South American forests, disclosed that LEDs 36 increase the frequency and efficiency of nocturnal hunting, and the number of kills 37 made. These changes were reflected in harvest data in Brazil. The drastic change in 38 efficiency brought about by LEDs, well known to hunters around the world, poses a 39 significant threat to wildlife. We consider the implications for communities, governments, 40 wildlife managers and conservationists

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