Illegal Hunting & The Bushmeat Trade In Savanna Africa: Drivers, Impacts & Solutions To Address The Problem

In this report, the term ‘bushmeat’ is used to denote meat from wild animals that have been hunted illegally, which aside from being used for personal consumption, is often sold commercially. The bushmeat trade has long been recognized as a severe threat to wildlife populations in the forests of West and Central Africa and is considered a conservation crisis in that biome. Far less attention has been focused on the issue in African savannas, perhaps due to a misconception that illegal hunting for bushmeat in the biome is primarily for subsistence and is largely sustainable. However, there is a growing body of research conducted in the Serengeti ecosystem in Tanzania, and from sporadic studies elsewhere that contradict that perception. This report summarizes a workshop on illegal hunting and the bushmeat trade in the savanna biome organised and sponsored by Panthera, the Zoological Society of London and Wildlife Conservation Society. Growing concern over the impacts of illegal hunting and the bushmeat trade, particularly on large carnivores populations in Southern and East Africa, motivated the workshop. Large carnivores are particularly sensitive to the impacts of illegal hunting and the bushmeat trade and can act as a barometer of the severity of the problem, and also act as a basis from which to catalyze conservation action. Key experts gathered at the workshop to identify the drivers of illegal hunting and the bushmeat trade and the interventions necessary to address the issue.

Publish DateSeptember 2, 2021
Last UpdatedSeptember 2, 2021