a1 Environmental Science, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, Eastern Cape, South Africa
When compared to tropical forest zones in west and central Africa, off-take of wild meat from savannah and grassland biomes by local rural communities has not been well assessed. This case study of wild meat collection activities within a rural community in the Mount Frere region of the Eastern Cape (South Africa) uses last-catch records derived from 50 wild meat gatherers to calculate average off-take of taxa, species and fresh mass of wild meat per collection event. When per-event off take is overlaid onto household hunting frequency data, annual off-take would be 268.6 kg km−2 yr−1 or 3 kg person−1 yr−1 presuming constant off-take over an annual period. Monetary value of off-take would be South African R 307 (US$ 39) per household annually. For some species, off-take weight per km2 shows similar values to data from tropical forest zones, but high human population densities tend to dilute off-takes to less nutritionally significant amounts at the per person scale. However, unlike many tropical zones, none of the species harvested can be considered high-priority conservation species. Even densely populated and heavily harvested communal lands appear to offer high wild meat off-takes from low conservation priority species.
(Received May 24 2009)
(Accepted October 08 2009)
(Online publication December 14 2009)