- Primate populations are declining in number, with an estimated “60% of primate species threatened with extinction from hunting and trapping” (Estrada et al., 2017). The largest threat to mammals in West and Central Africa is commercial hunting (Jost Robinson, Daspit, & Remis, 2011). Hunting these large mammals was once practiced sustainably by local communities. However, demand from outside sources leads to hunting levels higher than the forest can support. To understand the effect of bushmeat hunting on African apes, the complex interactions of humans with the environment must be considered. The manner in which the environment, including animals and the physical geography, interacts with human inhabitants and their social institutions is often left out of conservation and development discussions. Once understood, these interactions provide insight into why some conservation initiatives are successful in working with communities and others are not.
- Key Words: Bushmeat trade, Gorillas, Primate conservation, Community development,
Central African ape conservation, Extractive industries