Luz, A.C., Paneque-Gálvez, J., Guèze, M., Pino, J. & Macía, M.J. (2017) Continuity and change in hunting behaviour among contemporary indigenous peoples.Biological Conservation, 209, 17-26. DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2017.02.002 (IF2017 4,66; Q1 Ecology) NON-cE3c affiliated
Though subsistence hunting in tropical rainforests contributes to local food security and livelihoods, it also constitutes a major challenge to wildlife conservation. In this paper we examine different hunting practices of contemporary Tsimane', an Amazonian indigenous society native to Bolivia, and discuss their potential impact on wildlife. We also explore whether such different practices relate to greater integration into the national society and the market economy. Between 2009 and 2010, we conducted interviews with 344 Tsimane' adult men from 40 villages to collect information on their 1) hunting engagement, success, effort, offtake and prey profile and 2) their individual level of integration into the national society and the market economy. Overall, 71% of the interviewed men engaged in subsistence hunting albeit using different practices and achieving different outcomes. We used hierarchical cluster analysis to classify hunters into four groups according to their engagement and success in hunting. Two large groups of hunters had a diversified prey profile and targeted resilient species, whereas the two remaining groups were smaller, displayed high levels of offtake and efficiency, and targeted mainly ungulates and primates. We argue that the potential impact of expert hunters on wildlife is higher because they target more vulnerable species. Our results also suggest that there are no clear pathways relating hunting strategies and individual levels of integration into the national society and the market economy. However, our study provides evidence of how rapid and increasing contact with mainstream society affects hunting and subsistence livelihoods of contemporary indigenous peoples, posing severe potential impacts on biodiversity conservation.