Bushmeat hunting: The greatest threat to Africa’s wildlife?

Poaching for tusks, horns or other body parts is a well-recognized threat to Africa’s wildlife, but the impact of hunting for bushmeat may pose a greater threat. Conservationists in Southern Africa are exploring new ways to contain this. “Bushmeat is a significant problem in Zambia. For us, it’s by far the biggest threat to our wildlife populations,” Luwi Nguluka, awareness programs manager for Wildlife Crime Prevention (WCP), told Mongabay. The Zambian NGO has been working with the country’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) to campaign against the supply and demand in the illegal bushmeat trade. Illegal bushmeat processing in Zambia: a photo from the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife’s (DNPW) “This Is Not a Game” campaign. Image courtesy of This Is Not a Game. Nguluka says urban bushmeat consumption in Zambia is rising as populations grow and wealth increases. At the same time, Zambia’s wildlife populations are declining, making bushmeat harder to come by and so driving up the price. With increased price comes prestige, adding yet another driver to demand for the illegal meat in Lusaka, the capital. It’s a pattern other researchers are noting elsewhere. Peter Lindsey, conservation initiatives director for the Wildlife Conservation Network, has conducted extensive research into bushmeat hunting. When he surveyed managers of protected areas, NGO staff, and tourism industry representatives about the impact of hunting for bushmeat across 11 African countries, respondents ranked it as the severest threat to wildlife in protected areas, alongside hunting for body parts such…This article was originally published on Mongabay
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