We are assessing village socioeconomic factors, bushmeat hunting activities, and the current status of wildlife populations to evaluate the drivers of unsustainable hunting in the Ivindo-Minkébé region of Gabon.
In addition to testing whether villager involvement in monitoring can reduce commercial hunting, the project will evaluate (a) the effectiveness of villagers as ”scientists”; (b) the magnitude of the village hunting halo; and, (c) elucidate relationships between village population and wealth and hunting intensity and animal abundance.
Where we work This project takes place in the Ivindo-Minkébé region of Gabon, near the regional capital Makokou. Despite being home to a number of national parks, the region is greatly threatened by logging concessions that now surround most park boundaries, which have also contributed to a rise in unsustainable, commercial bushmeat hunting. This area of high biodiversity is also home to a number of endangered species including apes and pangolins. We currently work with 20 villages in the region.
Our approach CWP's research approach combines wildlife, hunting and socioeconomic data to evaluate which factors drive the commercial bushmeat trade and to assess the benefits of community involvement for the reduction of bushmeat hunting. The project uses multiple methods to collect this information:
Hunter surveys and bushmeat market data
Our team members in Gabon, including PhD student Amelia Meier, and project staff Alex Ebang Mbele and Guillaume Minie Minie, are working with the villages around Makokou to implement this project. This project is conducted in collaboration with the Gabon Parks Agency (ANPN) and the Center for Research and Technology (CENAREST), and is funded by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.