Bushmeat Hunting Practices in Jorgo-Wato Protected Forest, Western Ethiopia

Mosissa Geleta Erena, Afework Bekele, Habte Jebessa Debella

Abstract


Bushmeat hunting is a secret activity posing threats to wildlife in protected areas of Ethiopia. Yet, information about bushmeat hunting practices are limited. Hence, this study aimed to assess the practices of bushmeat hunting in Jorgo-Wato Protected Forest. Data were obtained from 248 individuals of six Farmer Associations using open and closed ended questionnaires, group discussions, interview with poachers, survey of hunting incidents and informal interviews with conservation officers and wardens. Seven species of mammals which includes: bushbuck, bush pig, giant forest hog, common dicker, warthog, porcupine and buffalo were hunted mainly for subsistence. Gin traps (54.7 %), spear and dogs (31.7%) were the most common hunting methods, and their frequency of use was much higher in the dry season (64.1%) compared to the wet season (27.0%). The probable risks encountered during hunting (30.21%), trappability (25.70%) and availability (20.9%) of species were the top determinants of hunters’ decisions to hunt bushmeat species. As bushmeat hunting practice is highly secretive, well-designed strategies and awareness campaigns are needed to reduce the demand for bushmeat in villages surrounding Jorgo-Wato Protected Forest, whereas reducing the supply of bushmeat from the Jorgo-Wato Protected Forest will require better enforcement of laws that prohibit bushmeat hunting.


Keywords


Bushmeat; Conservation; Ethiopia; Jorgo-Wato Protected Forest

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