Published 27th May 2021
The trade in bushmeat in Africa is a widespread conservation issue. Urban demand for bushmeat and other wildlife products exacerbates exploitation that threatens the survival of several species in the wild. The extent and prevalence of the bushmeat trade in urban areas in East Africa is relatively poorly understood.
Martin Andimile, Camilla Floros
From October to November 2019 a rapid assessment of the bushmeat trade in urban areas in Tanzania was conducted. Engagement with stakeholders suggested specific urban centres that are known for their bushmeat availability. This assessment focused on these centres and interviewed bushmeat traders and consumers. Bushmeat is consumed regularly in the centres assessed and flows to these sites undercover through different means of transportation, including motorcycles and public buses.
Sales of bushmeat were found to be through covert channels and mainly to known customers. This assessment identified 28 wild species as the most frequently traded, including Kirk’s Dik Dik Madoqua kirkii, African Buffalo Syncerus caffer, Grant’s Gazelle Gazella granti, Tora Hartebeest Alcelaphus buselaphus, Thomson’s Gazelle Eudorcas thomsonii, Masai Giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis, Lesser Kudu Tragelaphus imberbis, Greater Kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros, Common Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius, Common Impala Aepyceros melampu, Common Eland Taurotragus oryx, Bohor Reedbuck Redunca redunca, Mountain Reedbuck Redunca fulvorufula, Common Warthog Phacochoerus africanus, Common Waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus, Common Wild Pig Potamochoerus larvatus, Plains Zebra Equus quagga, and Common Wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus. Species also traded for other products across the study sites included Temminck’s Pangolin Smutsia temminckii, African Elephant Loxodonta, africana, Crested Porcupine Hystrix cristata, African Lion Panthera leo, snakes Serpentes spp., Nile Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus, Serval Cat Leptailurus serval, Nile Monitor Varanus niloticus, Verreaux's Eagle-owl Bubo lacteus, and land snails, particularly Achatina fulica.
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