Socioeconomic drivers of hunting efficiency and use of space By traditional Amazonians

André Valle Nunes, Luiz Gustavo R. Oliveira-Santos, Bráulio A. Santos, Carlos A. Peres, Erich Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Although critical in understanding human societies relying on natural game stocks, little attention has been paid to how socioeconomic traits can influence hunter behaviour. Our research focuses on whether village size, household size and age, and hunter age and monetary income affect hunting efficiency (catch-per-unit-effort) and catchment areas of traditional Amazonians. In collaboration with 13 volunteer hunters from six villages, we assessed social traits, and identified hunting areas with GPS and animal kills over six months. Contrary to expectations from central-place foraging, hunters in larger villages used smaller catchment areas, potentially because cassava-associated game species are more common near larger villages. Older hunters were more efficient, emphasizing the role of experience gained through time. Catchment areas increased with hunters’ income, but apparently the hunting efficiency did not. Overall results support the notion that a spatial arrangement of fewer large villages, rather than many small ones, maximizes hunting efficiency and minimizes catchment areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307–315
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Ecology
Issue number3
Early online date9 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Brazilian Amazon
  • Central-place foraging
  • Extractive reserve
  • Game meat
  • GPS-tracking
  • Hunting efficiency
  • Meat sharing networks
  • Tropical forests

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