Abstract: Bushmeat includes a large variety of wild animal species that are eaten as food. Vertebrates, however, contribute to almost all bushmeat consumed in African tropical moist forests. As many as 129 wild vertebrate species are known to be traded and consumed in West and Central Africa. By class, mammals are the most common; ungulate and rodents dominate the bushmeat trade in terms of individual animals and biomass sold. Recent attention has focused on commercial bushmeat hunting and its impacts on the survival of many large-bodied, slow-reproducing species like primates and elephants. Small-scale subsistence-based bushmeat hunting, however, can provide a food security safety net for human tropical forest inhabitants. Fa will present what is known about techniques, volume and impacts of bushmeat hunting in tropical forests in West and Central Africa. First, he will describe which wildlife species are important as bushmeat in African moist forests, distinguishing between taxa that can be hunted sustainably and taxa that are likely to be at a greater risk from hunting. He will then examine how bushmeat consumption and food security may be linked by presenting data on the importance of bushmeat protein to overall protein consumption in Central Africa, and how decreased bushmeat consumption may be correlated with reported increases in incidences of human malnutrition in the same region. Finally, he will discuss possible ways to ensure better governance for a more sustainable formal bushmeat sector that can ensure food security of peoples using wild species for food.
Fa Bio: John Fa was educated in Gibraltar and obtained his undergraduate degree in Zoology from the University of Wales, and a D.Phil. in Animal Ecology from the University of Oxford. He has more than 30 years’ experience in academic research and teaching in conservation science. Until the end of January 2014 he was the Chief Conservation Officer at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey, where he was responsible for conservation science activities for the organization. Currently he holds the position of Professor in the Division of Biology and Conservation Ecology at Manchester Metropolitan University and Senior Research Associate with CIFOR. He is also Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and at the University of Malaga, Spain. John’s research embraces a broad set of disciplines such as biology, economics, anthropology, and development. He pursues investigations relating to emerging issues that impinge significantly upon the long-term future of global biodiversity: defaunation of tropical rainforests, impact of loss of wildlife on people dependent on it, climate change and the impact of diseases on wildlife and humans. John has published extensively with over 150 peer-reviewed publications and 9 books in his name. John teaches in a number of courses in academic institutions in the UK and other countries. He also mentors students at undergraduate, post-graduate and vocational levels.