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van Vliet N.,Center for International Forestry Research | Quiceno-Mesa M.P.,Fundacion SI Science International | Cruz-Antia D.,Fundacion SI Science International | Tellez L.,Independent Consultant | And 9 more authors.
Ethnobiology and Conservation | Year: 2015

The current contribution of wild animal proteins has been poorly quantified, particularly in the rapidly growing urban centers of tropical forests. Lack of such evidence impairs food security strategies to include the diversity of food supply inherent to traditional food systems. In this study we focus on wild sources of animal protein: wild fish and bushmeat, which have traditionally been important in people's diets in the Amazon. We compare the consumption of wild and non-wild (domestic, processed) sources of animal proteins in a rural to urban gradient in the Colombian Amazon. In rural areas, most people are indigenous from the Ticuna ethnical group, while in urban areas, the population is a result of a mixture of different indigenous groups, mestizos and colonos. Our results show that, despite its geographical position, the region is increasingly dependent on domestic and industrialized sources of animal protein. The frequency of wild fish and bushmeat consumption decreases from rural to urban areas to the advantage of domestic and processed meat/fish. Patterns of animal protein consumption for indigenous children indicate that indigenous families adopt non-indigenous consumption patterns when they move to town. Bushmeat consumption in urban areas is more frequent in wealthier families and could be considered as a luxury product. In urban areas, chicken is the protein of the poor and beef replaces chicken for the families that can afford it. In rural settings, chicken replaces wild sources of animal protein as people increase their income and move away from forest/ agriculture dependent livelihoods. Despite, the low importance of bushmeat and wild fish in urban areas measured in terms of consumption frequencies, we show that these foods continue to play an important role in terms of dietary diversity, which is fundamental to eradicate energy and micronutrient deficiencies. The increased consumption of industrial chicken in rural communities poses important food security issues because it provides less nutritional balance than wild foods and access to this protein is dependent on the availability of cash in rural communities. While the harvest of wild proteins poses a sustainability problem, industrial foods also carry a heavy ecological footprint. In conclusion our results call for a better attention to the changes observed in diets in the Amazon, given their potential food security and ecological consequences.

van Vliet N.,Center for International Forestry Research | Quiceno-Mesa M.P.,Fundacion SI Science International | Cruz-Antia D.,Fundacion SI Science International | de Aquino L.J.N.,Federal University of Amazonas | And 2 more authors.
Ethnobiology and Conservation | Year: 2014

The Importance of bushmeat trade in Amazonian towns has been very little studied, either because it is thought to be insignificant or due to the context of illegality. Based on preliminary field work to identify the main stakeholders involved and the existing trade routes, our study aimed at describing the invisible bushmeat trade using a participatory monitoring protocol in Leticia and Puerto Nariño in Colombia, Tabatinga, Benjamin Constant and Atalaia do Norte in Brazil, and Santa Rosa and Caballococha in Peru. The monitoring system included two key levels of the market chain: hunters and market traders. With the support of our research team, the hunters and traders self monitored their activities during 60 days and 20 days respectively during two hydro-climatic periods. Our study shows that the most hunted species are paca, tericaya turtle and currassows while the most commercialized species are paca, tapir, collared peccary and the red brocket deer. We registered a total of 13 tons of bushmeat captured by hunters (from 29 species) and 6.7 tons of bushmeat sold by market sellers (from 19 species). We extrapolated this data to a year and to the total numbers of stakeholders involved in the trade and found that 473 tons of bushmeat are traded per year in market places from the main Tri frontier towns, which taken to the total urban population size of the area, equals to 3.2 kg/hab/year, a number that is comparable to those found in Central African urban settings.

van Vliet N.,Center for International Forestry Research | Quiceno M.,Fundacion S.I. Science International | Moreno J.,Fundacion S.I. Science International | Cruz D.,Fundacion S.I. Science International | And 2 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2016

The bushmeat trade in ecosystems in South America other than those within the Amazon basin is presumed to be insignificant, as alternative sources of protein (e.g. beef, chicken, fish) are considered to be more readily available in non-moist forests. However, studies and confiscation reports from countries such as Colombia suggest that bushmeat is consumed in a variety of ecosystems, although the nature of market chains, particularly in urban areas, is still unknown. We studied the urban bushmeat trade in markets in the five main ecoregions in Colombia. We recorded a total of 85 species, the most frequently traded being the paca Cuniculus paca, red brocket deer Mazama americana, grey brocket deer Mazama gouazoubira, capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, armadillo Dasypus spp. and black agouti Dasyprocta fuliginosa. Most sales of wild meat occur through clandestine channels and involve a limited number of stakeholders. Bushmeat is a luxury product in urban areas of the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Andean regions. Further work is needed to quantify and monitor the volumes of bushmeat traded, comprehend motivations, explore ways of reducing threats, and engage with stakeholders to organize legal and sustainable use of bushmeat. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2016

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