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Deforestation and hunting effects on wildlife across Amazonian indigenous lands

Pedro de Araujo Lima Constantino, Independent researcher


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Deforestation and hunting are main wildlife threats in Amazonia, affecting the ecosystem and dwellers that rely on game meat. Data from 9109 hunted animals from 35 villages of 8 Pano indigenous lands in Brazilian Amazonia were used to build 4 indicators of wildlife status based on ecological models and to analyze the effects of deforestation, hunting pressure, and socioeconomic aspects on wildlife variation. Although variation in wildlife status indicated depletion in certain locations, hunters from most villages continued to hunt their preferred game after decades of intensive hunting. Indigenous hunting resulted in local depletion of species because of the dispersal of animals away from the source of hunting. This local effect can be explained by the permanent hunting of wildlife in the region, the behavior of Pano hunters, and the design and scale of this study analysis. Regionally, however, deforestation and associated factors are the cause of reduced population density and hunting success, extirpating sensitive species. Roads exacerbated hunting effects through disturbance, encroachment, and provision of access to livestock meat at markets. To avoid local depletion, indigenous people must review their subsistence hunting practices, whereas to achieve regional wildlife conservation and to maintain indigenous societies in Amazonia, wildlife habitat loss should be limited.

Key words

Amazonia; game species; habitat loss; indigenous hunting; Katukina; Kaxinawá; road

Copyright © 2016 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087