Wild meat has long been a staple of rural communities in West Papua Province, Indonesia. However, development of commercial networks has resulted in wild meat being increasingly transported in from forests to urban areas. This study describes the structure and operation of the wild meat trade chain along the coast of the Bird's Head Peninsula (BHP) of West Papua, including how wild meat flows from forests to urban areas and contributes to local livelihoods across the trade chain. Commercial networks have developed and wild meat is transported from forests to urban areas and contributes to livelihoods along the entire value chain. A survey was conducted on three groups of hunters: “focal respondents” (N = 220), including “participating hunters” (N = 33); “random respondents” (N = 800); and other actors (“intermediaries” [N = 6], “market traders” [N = 3], and “restaurant owners” [N = 4]) involved in the meat trade. Results indicate that hunting for trade is still a secondary livelihood activity, with more than half of our respondents selling hunted wildlife within their home villages. Hunters, intermediaries, market traders, and restaurant owners are involved in longer-distance wild meat trade and their roles are well defined from hunting to trading. The trade in wild meat along the coast of the BHP mirrors patterns found in other parts of the tropics. Market-oriented hunting that is emerging along the coast of the BHP may increase hunters' dependence on trading, which may increase the number of stakeholders involved. Consequently, wild meat harvest rates may be affected as modern techniques are used to increase the efficiency of hunting. Improving local agriculture productivity may be important to boost incomes and reduce the need to supplement income by selling wild meat. Development and conservation efforts should be focused on creating jobs for remote rural communities and to changing the behavior of wild meat purchasers.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2