a1 Madagasikara Voakajy, B. P. 5181, Antananarivo, Madagascar.
a2 Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
We assessed the consumption and hunting of wild animals by people in urban areas of western Madagascar using structured questionnaires in households and direct observations. Six wild mammal and five wild bird species were reported, or observed, to be sources of bushmeat although fish and domestic animals were the preferred and cheapest sources of animal protein. Bushmeat accounted for 10% of the meat consumed the day before our questionnaires were completed. Common tenrec Tenrec ecaudatus and bush pig Potamochoerus larvatus were the preferred wild meat and the former was also the most expensive type of meat. Taboos and strong dislikes limited the consumption of domestic pigs, bush pigs, goats, lemurs and fruit bats. Game species were hunted according to their availability, which coincided with the legal hunting season for fruit bats but only partly so for the other game species. Illegal hunting of Verreauxi’s sifaka Propithecus verreauxi is cause for concern and assessments of primate consumption may have been underestimated because of reluctance of interviewees to admit illegal activities.
(Received January 21 2009)
(Reviewed March 11 2009)
(Accepted June 26 2009)
p1 Also at: Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
p2 Current address: School of the Environment and Natural Resources, Bangor University, Bangor, LL57 2UW, UK