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Managing Amazonian Wildlife: Biological Correlates of Game Choice by Detribalized Hunters

Bodmer, Richard E.
Ecological applications 1995 v.5 no.4 pp. 872-877
biomass, economic valuation, game animals, hunters, mammals, variance, wildlife, wildlife management, Amazonia, Peru
Wildlife management in tropical areas inhabited by rural people requires an understanding of the interactions between game choice of hunters and the biology of game species. This paper presents an analysis that combines information on game use and game biology in an attempt to understand better the game hunting system and its effect on mammalian populations. Game choice by non—tribal inhabitants was studied in the north—eastern Peruvian Amazon within the Reserva Communal Tamshiyacu—Tahuayo (RCTT). The correlation between game preferences and actual harvests was calculated using Ivlev's index of selectivity. Hunters preferred large—bodied mammals and mammals with high economic value. Actual harvests did not reflect preferences of hunters, but were correlated with reproductive productivity of game species, measured as the species rₘₐₓ. Impact of hunting on the biomass of game was not correlated with preferences of hunters or actual harvests. Both game choice by hunters and susceptibility of species to hunting depended mainly on the reproductive productivities of game species. Thus, game management in the RCTT must consider the dominating effects of reproductive biology and consider variance in rₘₐₓ when determining harvests.