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HUNTING PRACTICES AMONG TWO ETHNIC GROUPS LIVING IN THE LAGOAS DE CUFADA NATURAL PARK (LCNP), GUINEA-BISSAU: HOW ARE NON HUMAN PRIMATES PERCEIVED?

R. Amador
CAPP (Centro de Administração e Políticas Públicas) e Unidade de Antropologia, ISCSP-UTL
CESAM (Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar) Universidade de Aveiro
rcamador17@gmail.com
C. Casanova
CAPP (Centro de Administração e Políticas Públicas) e Unidade de Antropologia, ISCSP-UTL
CESAM (Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar) Universidade de Aveiro
ccasanova@iscsp.utl.pt
P
. Lee
Psychology, School of Natural Sciences,
University of Stirling, Scotland, UK
phyllis.lee@stir.ac.uk

Protected areas have several goals but typically, they aim to protect biodiversity. Hunting and bushmeat extraction represent a major problem in Lagoas de Cufada Natural Park (LCNP) since the park also aims to protect animal biodiversity in the area. The major goal of our study is to assess and characterize the relationships between local human communities and non human primates (NHP) in order to contribute to a successful biodiversity conservation national action plan. The study of perceptions and attitudes of the Beafada community – the major ethnic group present in the Park (77, 4%) – and the Balanta – the second one (8, 7%) – is important in order to understand how perceptions influence hunting of NHP and bushmeat practices. Our study was conducted over the course of 3 years although the interviews used in this presentation were collected in a period of four months to minimize changes over time. Observations, questionnaire surveys (N=258) and in-depth interviews (N=40) engaged with Beafada and Balanta subjects (village chiefs, hunters and others) in 32 rural villages located inside the LCNP boundary. Ethnicity was based on self-reports from respondents. Balanta people displayed more “environmental-friendly” hunting practices and are not involved in the NHP bushmeat trade. They hunt mainly with dogs (and use traps/snares) specifically for domestic consumption. Balanta are not professional hunters. However, among the Beafada there are professional hunters (respondents who hunt every day) and most men report that they will sometimes hunt more than once per week. Beafada men always use rifles and sell NHP carcasses, preferably in major cities (e.g. Buba or Bissau). All NHP hunted by Beafada are for the bushmeat trade rather than domestic consumption. NHP are perceived very differently by both ethnic groups in terms of edibility. Although Balanta perceive monkeys as edible, their hunting practices may place primate populations at lesser risk of extinction  than does the Beafada way of dealing with animals as merchandise or commodities to be sold (bafatório is an exception). For both ethnic groups, the chimpanzee was differentiated from other NHP as it was considered highly non-edible.

Keywords: Bushmeat, hunting habits, non human primates, ethnicity

Nota biográfica
Raquel Castanheira Amador. I am currently completing my PhD in Social Sciences – Anthropology, at the Superior Institute of Social and Political Sciences (ISCSP) in Lisbon and at the Stirling University in Scotland, United Kingdom (Financed by the Science and Technology Foundation – SFRH/BD/47279/2008). My research was designed to explore the links between livelihoods and protected areas in the Lagoas de Cufada Natural Park in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa.
Catarina Casanova é doutorada pela Universidade de Cambridge em Antropologia (especialidade de Antropologia Biológica), pertenceu ao Darwin College.  Desde 2002 que desenvolve trabalho de campo na Guiné-Bissau tendo publicado inúmeros artigos sobre diferentes temas em contexto Guineense (primatologia, percepções e representações sociais e conflitos em áreas protegidas, entre outros temas). É professora associada de Antropologia no Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas e membro integrado do CAPP. É presidente da Sociedade Portuguesa de Primatologia e integra inúmeras sociedades científicas internacionais.