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Trade in wildlife for traditional medicine in Ghana: therapeutic values, zoonoses considerations, and implications for biodiversity conservation
- Gbogbo, Francis, Daniels, Joseph Kobina
- Human dimensions of wildlife 2019 v.24 no.3 pp. 296-300
- Chiroptera, biodiversity conservation, indigenous knowledge, markets, mice, rats, risk, therapeutics, trade, traditional medicine, vultures, wild animals, wildlife, zoonoses, Ghana
- Overexploitation of wild animals, increasing recognition of pharmacological value of animals and the growing need to protect traditional knowledge and cultural environmental resources, have recently exacerbated the world’s interest in zootherapy. In this paper, we provided information on the wild animal species traded for traditional medicine in markets across Accra, the capital of Ghana, their therapeutic values, conservation implications, and zoonoses risk. A total of 43 species of animals were recorded with 47% associated with the treatment of medical afflictions while 70% were connected to spiritual connotations in the form of charms meant for money rituals, protection, spiritual eyesight for prophesying and decoration of shrines. Approximately 15% of the traded species were of conservation concern including the Critically Endangered hooded vulture. The sale and use of the Straw-colored fruit bat, mice, and rats for traditional medicine raised concerns of zoonotic disease transmissions.