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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 179-184

A Study of the Bushmeat Trade in Ouesso, Republic of Congo

1 Armonia/BirdLife International, Lomas de Arena 400, Casilla 3566, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
2 Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027, USA

Correspondence Address:
Jessica Rogers
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027, USA

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.49211

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Ouesso, the largest town in northern Congo consumed 5700 kg of bushmeat a week in 1994. The purpose of this study, that was conducted between mid-June and mid-October1994, was to quantify the bushmeat trade in the town of Ouesso. The questions we wanted to answer included: 'from where does meat arrive in the market', 'what species are being sold' and 'how are the species being hunted'. We recorded infor­mation about the description of the species hunted, and the type and location of hunting. Any information that seemed to be of interest was also recorded, since this was the first documentation of the meat trade in Ouesso. We recorded thirty-nine species of animals used for consumption, including seven species of monkeys, eight species of antelope, as well as gorillas, chimpanzees and elephants. Duikers were most abundant, with 390 individuals sold per week. Three main hunting systems are used in the area: snare, night hunting and day hunting. About 66 per cent of the meat for the market came from an 80 km road travelling southwest to a village called Liouesso and 13 per cent came from a logging truck trading in Cameroon. Finally, we concluded that law enforcement and wildlife management were ineffective in the study area, either because people were unaware of the laws or because the area concerned was too large to monitor and patrol. The addition of roads to this area would probably facilitate greater patrolling, but it would also definitely lead to an increase in bushmeat hunting. Ouesso should be monitored in future to determine the sustainability of its bushmeat trade.

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