THE BUSHMEAT TRADE
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.