Quantifying the exploitation of terrestrial wildlife in Africa

Ingram, Daniel John (2018) Quantifying the exploitation of terrestrial wildlife in Africa. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

The overexploitation of wild animals is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity and to millions of people depending on wild meat for food and livelihoods, yet broad-scale data to evaluate species’ declines are limited. The aim of my thesis is to create a database of the exploitation of terrestrial animals (hereafter ‘wildlife’) in Africa and, using this database as a tool, explore questions relating to the exploitation of wildlife in Africa.
Following the introduction in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 provides the methods used to develop and populate the database, and collate studies on the exploitation of wildlife in Africa. Descriptive statistics are then presented that highlight different aspects of the collated data.
Using a database of wildlife harvests across Central Africa, I compared three non-spatial and one spatial method of quantifying the total annual biomass of harvested wildlife in Chapter 3. Furthermore, I investigated the socioeconomic and environmental drivers of exploitation, and used this information to spatially map harvested wildlife.
In Chapter 4 I proposed two novel indicators for harvested terrestrial species: the mean body mass indicator assessing whether hunters are relying increasingly on smaller species over time; and the offtake pressure indicator as a measure of harvesting pressure on wild animals within a region.
In Chapter 5, I further developed the indicators of exploitation and investigated trends in taxonomic composition and mean body mass of harvested individuals, in relation to accessibility to urban centres and over time.
Using African pangolins as a case study, I demonstrate that collating local-scale data can provide crucial information on regional trends in exploitation of threatened species to inform conservation actions and policy (Chapter 6) by analysing trends in the number and price of pangolins harvested and sold over time.
The final chapter (Chapter 7) of this thesis contains the discussion of the overall findings from the thesis, and my overall conclusions.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biology and Environmental Science
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0081 Wildlife conservation. Rare animals. Endangered species. Wildlife refuges. Wildlife habitat improvement
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2018 14:57
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2020 07:58
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/76736

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