Evaluating the sustainability of subsistence hunting in tropical forests

Research output: Working paper

1 Citation (Scopus)


Large-bodied vertebrates are perhaps the most ecologically sensitive extracts of tropical forests, and their sustained management will become increasingly critical to the long-term integrity of these ecosystems. This paper presents the results of a long-term programme (1986-1996) of wildlife surveys, based on a standard line-transect censusing technique, which was designed to quantify the impact of different levels of hunting pressure across a wide range of Amazonian forest habitats. This is the most comprehensive set of quantitative biodiversity inventories of large-bodied birds and mammals for a given region of tropical forest. Population density and biomass estimates obtained at 25 terra firme and floodplain forest sites are used to determine which game species are most susceptible to population declines and local extinctions resulting from subsistence hunting practices. These estimates are then applied to a demographic model to determine the potential production and sustainable harvest of different game species within two broad classes of forest types. Data presented here indicate that estimates of forest productivity and baseline population density are essential components of sampling protocols designed to evaluate to what extent a game harvest regime can be considered to be sustainable.

Original languageEnglish
VolumeGEC 97-22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1997

Publication series

NameWorking Paper - Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment
PublisherCentre for Soc. Econ. Res. on the Global Environment
ISSN (Print)0967-8875

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