28 August 2007
Magazine issue 2618
Fast-growing indigenous populations hunting for bushmeat inside national parks must be a huge threat to wildlife, right? Well, not necessarily. A study in Manu National Park, on the edge of the Amazon rainforest in Peru, has found “little or no evidence” that any of the most hunted species are in decline, despite a doubling of the numbers of the local Matsigenka tribe in the past two decades.
For years conservationists have warned that the thousand or so Matsigenka people living and hunting in Manu were taking too many birds and mammals, threatening the future of one of the world’s richest wildlife reserves. In fact, nature is more resilient than that, say ecologist Julia Ohl-Schacherer and colleagues from the University of East Anglia in the UK (Conservation Biology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00759.x).