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27 July 2020 Wild Meat Species, Climate Change, and Indigenous Amazonians
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People throughout the world are adapting to alternative livelihoods as climate change transforms the earth. The western Amazon basin has recently gone through extreme flood levels that resulted in population declines of species used for wild meat, principally white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari), collared peccary (Pecari tajacu), red brocket deer (Mazama americana), lowland paca (Cuniculus paca), and black agouti (Dasyprocta fuliginosa). The Cocama (Kukama) people of the Samiria River have adapted to the declining wild meat populations by greatly reducing hunting and increasing their fishing activity. We evaluated the sustainability of subsistence hunting of peccaries, deer, lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris), large rodents, and primates in flooded forests of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve using camera trap capture rates, density from distance transects, and participatory interviews with Cocama villagers from 2009 to 2018. Peccaries, deer, and large rodents are recovering from population declines that occurred during extreme floods, which suggests that hunting levels are allowing these populations to grow. The primates and lowland tapir have healthy population sizes and stable numbers, which suggests people are hunting these species at sustainable levels. Our results indicate that changes in hunting patterns by the Cocama have permitted peccary, deer, and large rodent populations to recover to varying degrees during years of normal flood levels. The Cocama people are adapting to climate change in a way that agrees with conservation goals and reinforces the importance of community-based approaches to conservation in the Amazon.

Richard Bodmer, Pedro Mayor, Miguel Antunez, Tula Fang, Kimberlyn Chota, Tulio Ahuanari Yuyarima, Samuel Flores, Benjamin Cosgrove, Nathaly López, Osnar Pizuri, and Pablo Puertas "Wild Meat Species, Climate Change, and Indigenous Amazonians," Journal of Ethnobiology 40(2), 218-233, (27 July 2020).
Published: 27 July 2020

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