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WSB: Which animals are hunted in the eastern Amazon?

Cara J

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While hunting — both legal and illegal — is prevalent in Brazil’s eastern Amazon, researchers had never looked at which species people are hunting the most until recently. “It’s necessary to know about the effect in the system of hunting and wildlife,” said Geison Mesquita, a PhD student at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, researcher at the Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat, and lead author of a new study examining hunting in the region. “For conservation, it’s important, too, because if we don’t know what’s hunted, we can’t help the species.” To conduct his study published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin, Mesquita had to gain the trust of locals to share what species they were hunting, why and how. Mesquita befriended a local man who knew hunters in the area, opening the door for the research team to interview them regarding their activities. Since their research was for science, “not like a policeman,” Mesquita said, the hunters were willing to talk. Hunting there is legal for indigenous communities and in some cases in rural communities where hunters need to feed their families, he said, but not for others. From the interviews, the team identified the species; frequency of capture; [...]

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