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A Cross-Site Analysis of Neotropical Bird Hunting Profiles

Stafford, CA, Preziosi, RF and Sellers, WI (2017) A Cross-Site Analysis of Neotropical Bird Hunting Profiles. Tropical Conservation Science, 10.

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Abstract

© The Author(s) 2017. Subsistence hunting of neotropical birds is common and widespread in the tropical forests of Latin America. Although its sustainability under different scenarios is subject to debate, hunting has already contributed to the decline and local extirpation of several taxa and is considered to be a significant threat to a range of large-bodied species. Gaining a better understanding of the variability of hunting patterns, as well as the factors that can potentially be used to predict them, is important if we are to develop conservation strategies that target the species most likely to be experiencing declines. In this article, we examine the avian hunting profiles of 65 communities in the neotropics. We describe their variability and look at the relationship between a hunting profile and (a) its geographical location, (b) the community’s age, (c) the community’s population size, and (d) the year in which the survey was carried out. We find that there is a significant but weak relationship between a community’s geographic location and the composition of its bird hunting profile, and that prey profiles can be considerably different even among close neighbors. We found no relationship between a community’s age or size and the mean biomass of bird prey hunted. Our results challenge the assumption that older and larger settlements have a predictable impact upon avian prey communities and suggest that cultural preferences or the starting availability of prey species can change rapidly over short distances.

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