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The bushmeat and food security nexus: A global account of the contributions, conundrums and ethical collisions

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Cawthorn, D.M. & Hoffman, L.C. (2015) The bushmeat and food security nexus: A global account of the contributions, conundrums and ethical collisions. Food Research International. First available online 10th April 2015.

Wild meat or ‘bushmeat’ has long served as a principal source of protein and a key contributor to the food security of millions of people across the developing world. More recently, however, growing human populations, technological elaborations and the emergence of a booming commercial bushmeat trade have culminated in unprecedented harvest rates and the consequent decline of numerous wildlife populations. Most research efforts aimed at tackling this problem to date have been rooted in the biological disciplines, focused on quantifying the trade and measuring its level of destruction on wildlife and ecosystems. Comparatively little effort, on the other hand, has been expended on illuminating the role of bushmeat in human livelihoods and in providing alternative sources of food and income, as well as the infrastructure to make these feasible. This paper aims to shift the focus to the human dimension, emphasising the true contributions of bushmeat to food security, nutrition and well-being, while balancing this perspective by considering the far-reaching impacts of overexploitation. What emerges from this synthesis is that bushmeat management will ultimately depend on understanding and working with people, with any approaches focused too narrowly on biodiversity preservation running the risk of failure in the long term. 

Access the journal article here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996915001301.

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