Across the Global South, wildlife is harvested for food and livelihoods and for cultural and medicinal purposes, yet the dynamics of the wild meat sector are changing as remote areas become more accessible, more people are living in urban areas, and the world is becoming increasingly connected. The research articles in this special issue explore the contemporary use of wild meat in the lives and livelihoods of people across a rural-urban gradient, provide examples of how use may be evolving in relation to the changing social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental contexts, and what this means for sustainable wildlife management and biodiversity conservation. Urbanization, social change, and cultural dynamics contribute to the diversity of, and motivation for, wild meat uses, while human population growth and the changing state of the natural environment can ultimately influence sustainability. Given the diversity of wild meat uses across social-ecological contexts, and the potential for inequitable management decisions, incorporating social justice in wild meat management will ensure human-wellbeing while curbing biodiversity loss.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2