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A recent study led by Dr Rebecca Foster, Director of the Belize Jaguar Program for Panthera, made a first attempt at assessing the national harvest rates of game species in Belize, by people and by predators, to investigate whether the combined off-take is sustainable.
The study found that six popular game species (paca, armadillo, collared peccary, white-lipped peccary, white-tailed deer and red brocket deer) together make up 7% of the animal-protein meals eaten by the Belizean population. The research team estimated that c. 4,000 tonnes of these wild mammals by are hunted every year in Belize jointly by humans and jaguars, with the majority (3,000 tonnes) hunted by people.
Wild meat provides income and protein for millions of people throughout the tropics; however over-hunting of wild vertebrates can lead to a suite of problems: threatening the livelihoods of people who depend on bush meat; compromising the regeneration of forests as they become emptied of the animals that would usually eat plant material and disperse seeds; and, driving large carnivores to attack livestock as their wild prey disappear.
To read the full study, CLICK HERE.