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Reuter K.E.,Temple University | Wills A.R.,Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative | Lee R.W.,Washington State University | Cordes E.E.,Temple University | Sewall B.J.,Temple University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Human-modified habitats are expanding rapidly; many tropical countries have highly fragmented and degraded forests. Preserving biodiversity in these areas involves protecting species-like frugivorous bats-that are important to forest regeneration. Fruit bats provide critical ecosystem services including seed dispersal, but studies of how their diets are affected by habitat change have often been rather localized. This study used stable isotope analyses (δ15N and δ13C measurement) to examine how two fruit bat species in Madagascar, Pteropus rufus (n = 138) and Eidolon dupreanum (n = 52) are impacted by habitat change across a large spatial scale. Limited data for Rousettus madagascariensis are also presented. Our results indicated that the three species had broadly overlapping diets. Differences in diet were nonetheless detectable between P. rufus and E. dupreanum, and these diets shifted when they co-occurred, suggesting resource partitioning across habitats and vertical strata within the canopy to avoid competition. Changes in diet were correlated with a decrease in forest cover, though at a larger spatial scale in P. rufus than in E. dupreanum. These results suggest fruit bat species exhibit differing responses to habitat change, highlight the threats fruit bats face from habitat change, and clarify the spatial scales at which conservation efforts could be implemented. Copyright: © 2016 Reuter et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted se, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source


Reuter K.E.,Temple University | Randell H.,Temple University | Wills A.R.,Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative | Janvier T.E.,University of Antsiranana | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Wild meat trade constitutes a threat to many animal species. Understanding the commodity chain of wild animals (hunting, transportation, trade, consumption) can help target conservation initiatives. Wild meat commodity chain research has focused on the formal trade and less on informal enterprises, although informal enterprises contribute to a large portion of the wild meat trade in sub-Saharan Africa. We aimed to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the formal and informal components of these commodity chains by focusing on the mammalian wild meat trade in Madagascar. Our objectives were to: (1) identify hunting strategies used to capture different wild mammals; (2) analyze patterns of movement of wild meat from the capture location to the final consumer; (3) examine wild meat prices, volumes, and venues of sale; and (4) estimate the volume of wild meat consumption. Data were collected in May-August 2013 using semi-structured interviews with consumers (n = 1343 households, 21 towns), meat-sellers (n = 520 restaurants, open-air markets stalls, and supermarkets, 9 towns), and drivers of inter-city transit vehicles (n = 61, 5 towns). We found that: (1) a wide range of hunting methods were used, though prevalence of use differed by animal group; (2) wild meat was transported distances of up to 166 km to consumers, though some animal groups were hunted locally (<10 km) in rural areas; (3) most wild meat was procured from free sources (hunting, gifts), though urban respondents who consumed bats and wild pigs were more likely to purchase those meats; and (4) wild meat was consumed at lower rates than domestic meat, though urban respondents consumed wild meat twice as much per year compared to rural respondents. Apart from the hunting stage, the consumption and trade of wild meat in Madagascar is also likely more formalized than previously thought. © 2016 Reuter et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source


Czaja R.,Temple University | Wills A.,Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative | Hanitriniaina S.,University of Antananarivo | Reuter K.E.,Temple University | Sewall B.J.,Temple University
Anthrozoos | Year: 2015

The domestic cat Felis catus has a long history of interaction with humans, and is found throughout the world as a household pet and a feral animal. Despite people’s often sentimental association with cats, cat meat is sometimes consumed by them; this practice can have important implications for public health. In Madagascar, a least developed country that has experienced recent political instability, cat consumption is known to occur, but remains poorly understood. To improve our understanding of cat consumption practices in Madagascar we interviewed 512 respondents in five towns. We used semi-structured interviews to: 1) clarify the preference for, and prevalence, correlates, and timing of, cat consumption; 2) describe methods used to procure cats for consumption; 3) identify motives for consuming cat meat; and, 4) evaluate to what extent patterns of catmeat consumption are influenced by taboos. We found that, although cat was not a preferred source of meat, many (34%) Malagasy respondents had consumed cat meat before, with most (54%) of these indicating such consumption occurred in the last decade. We did not detect a link between consumption of cat meat and recent access to meat (a proxy for food security). Cat meat was almost never purchased, but rather was obtained when the owners consumed their own pet cat, as a gift, or by hunting feral cats. Cat meat was usually consumed in smaller towns following cat–human conflict such as attacks on chickens, but in the large capital city, cat meat was procured primarily from road-killed individuals. These results suggest cat-meat consumption is typically an opportunistic means to obtain inexpensive meat, rather than principally serving as a response to economic hardship. These results further suggest cat handling and consumption may present a potential pathway for transmission of several diseases, including toxoplasmosis, that may warrant heightened public health efforts. © ISAZ 2015. Source


Khatun K.,Institute Altos Estudios Nacionales | Corbera E.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Ball S.,Mpingo Conservation and Development Initiative
ORYX | Year: 2016

A project combining participatory forest management and REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) is underway in south-eastern Tanzania. It introduces early burning practices to reduce the number and (heat) intensity of wild and late-season fires, to develop robust carbon accounting methods. Our analysis considers the causes of forest fires, and local people's knowledge of the early burning process and its impacts on livelihoods, through the development of early burning activities as a potential source of carbon revenue. Some of the difficulties of implementation have been resolved over time (e.g. the premature introduction of carbon contracts), whereas others remain: there are inequalities in knowledge, awareness and participation in early burning and the broader REDD+ process at village level. A more structured approach to early burning, with well-publicized advance planning, that includes all community members and subvillages would make a significant difference. Further challenges exist in the form of both legal and illegal hunting, a cause of forest fires that could undermine the early burning process. We argue that the long-term commitment of project managers to gain detailed knowledge of social–ecological systems, forest governance and local politics is required to successfully develop this and other similar REDD+ projects. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2016 Source


Sunderlin W.D.,Center for International Forestry Research | Sills E.O.,North Carolina State University | Duchelle A.E.,Center for International Forestry Research | Ekaputri A.D.,Indonesian Institute of Sciences | And 8 more authors.
International Forestry Review | Year: 2015

In 2007, REDD+ emerged as the leading option for early climate change mitigation. In 2010, after the failure of negotiations at the Copenhagen COP, observers cited REDD+ projects and other subnational initiatives as examples of the polycentric governance (based on multiple independent actors operating at multiple levels) necessary to move climate change mitigation forward in the absence of a binding international agreement. This paper examines the ways subnational initiatives can and cannot play this role, based on the experiences and opinions of 23 REDD+ proponent organizations in six countries. These proponents have tested various approaches to climate change mitigation, demonstrating the value of a polycentric approach for promoting innovation and learning. However, from our sample, six initiatives have closed, four no longer label themselves as REDD+, only four are selling carbon credits, and less than half view conditional incentives (initially the core innovation of REDD+) as their most important intervention. While polycentric governance in REDD+ has benefits, it will not enable implementation of REDD+ as originally conceived unless accompanied by a binding international agreement. Source

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