Since 2004, our team has been studying the social, economic and geographic drivers of bushmeat (any wildlife used for food) consumption in northeastern Madagascar (the Maroantsetra area). Local people are hunting a variety of mammal species including lemurs, carnivores, bats, bush pigs and tenrecs. We also have done some preliminary modeling of the sustainability of current hunting practices on this array of wildlife and found that much of it is unsustainable. Lemurs and carnivores, because of their slow reproductive life history strategies, are particularly susceptible to unsustainable hunting. We also conducted studies of taste preferences and although many domesticated animals are preferred (especially chicken which is the top taste preference), delicious species like the black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) are often top taste preferences. Almost all of the hunting in the Maroantsetra region (and in fact much of Madagascar) is subsistence by nature, but there are still occasional restaurants which serve bushmeat.
In addition to our longitudinal efforts in the Makira Natural Park and in Masoala National Park (through partnership with Dr. Cortni Borgerson), our team has also done rapid census surveys of bushmeat exploitation in Ankarafantsika National Park, Lac Alaotra region, Kianjavato Reserve, Betampona Special Reserve, and Mananara Biosphere Reserve.
Special thanks to the financial support from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society-Conservation Trust, Margot Marsh Biodiversity Fund, Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, and others.
1. Golden, C. D. 2009. Bushmeat hunting and use in the Makira Forest, north-eastern Madagascar: a conservation and livelihoods issue. Oryx 43: 386-392.
2. Brashares, J.S., C. D. Golden, K. Weinbaum, C. B. Barrett and G.V. Okello. 2011. Economic and geographic drivers of wildlife consumption in rural Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 108:13931-13936.
3. Golden, C. D., R. W. Wrangham and J. S. Brashares. 2013. Assessing the accuracy of interviewed recall for rare, highly seasonal events: the case of wildlife consumption in Madagascar. Animal Conservation 16: 597-603.
4. Golden, C. D., M. Bonds, J. S. Brashares, B. J. R. Rasolofoniaina and C. Kremen. 2014. Economic valuation of subsistence harvest of wildlife in Madagascar. Conservation Biology 28: 234-243.
5. Golden, C. D. and J. Comaroff. 2015. The effects of social change on wildlife consumption taboos in northeastern Madagascar. Ecology and Society20(2): 41. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-07589-200241
- 6. Farris, Z. J., Golden, C. D., Karpanty, S., Murphy, A., Stauffer, D., Ratelolahy, F. and Kelly, M. J. 2015. Hunting, Exotic Carnivores, and Habitat Loss: Anthropogenic Effects on a Native Carnivore Community, Madagascar. PloS ONE, 10(9), e0136456.
- 7. Golden, CD, Gupta, AC, Vaitla, B, Myers, SS. Ecosystem services and food security: assessing inequality at community, household and individual scales. Environmental Conservation pp. 1–8. doi: 10.1017/S0376892916000163 (2016).