Hunting in ancient and modern Amazonia: Rethinking sustainability.

G Shepard, T Levi, EG Neves, CA Peres, DW Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


We use a recently developed computerized modeling technique to explore the long-term impacts of indigenous Amazonian hunting in the past, present, and future. The model redefines sustainability in spatial and temporal terms, a major advance over the static “sustainability indices” currently used to study hunting in tropical forests. We validate the model's projections against actual field data from two sites in contemporary Amazonia and use the model to assess various management scenarios for the future of Manu National Park in Peru. We then apply the model to two archaeological contexts, show how its results may resolve long-standing enigmas regarding native food taboos and primate biogeography, and reflect on the ancient history and future of indigenous people in the Amazon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652–667
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Issue number4
Early online date29 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Amazon prehistory
  • community-based conservation
  • indigenous peoples
  • Manu Biosphere Reserve
  • protected areas management
  • source–sink dynamics
  • subsistence hunting
  • Xingú River

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