THE BUSH­MEAT TRADE

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Mandrill -

Sci­en­tists aren’t alone in look­ing for man­drills. Hun­ters of­ten use dogs to track the mon­keys, trap­ping them in trees. Hunt­ing rain­for­est an­i­mals – from in­sects to great apes – for food has been a way of life in ru­ral Cen­tral Africa for mil­len­nia, but in re­cent decades it has grown into an un­sus­tain­able in­dus­try. Log­ging roads pro­vide ac­cess to the heart of the rain­for­est and al­low hun­ters to trans­port their catches to cities, where large and rare an­i­mals such as man­drills sell for a pre­mium. The sur­vival of nearly 100 species may be threat­ened by the trade, and the decline in large an­i­mals in­clud­ing apes and for­est ele­phants – also killed for their ivory – has al­ready been cat­a­strophic. Hope rests with ini­tia­tives to pro­tect species while pro­mot­ing sus­tain­able har­vest­ing, pro­vid­ing in­come and pro­tein for the poor.

Man­drill bush­meat at com­mands high prices Cen­tral African mar­kets.

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