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Bushmeat consumption and environmental awareness in rural households: a case study around Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire

  • Joseph A. K. Kouassi (a1), Emmanuelle Normand (a2), Inza Koné (a1) and Christophe Boesch (a2)


Consumption of bushmeat, a staple food of people living in the vicinity of protected areas, is a challenge for the conservation of wildlife. The underlying factors driving this consumption are, however, relatively understudied, particularly among rural households, and improved understanding would facilitate the development of conservation strategies. We therefore aimed to identify the factors that influence bushmeat consumption in rural households to the west of Taï National Park, in Côte d'Ivoire. We carried out enquiries in a total of 144 rural households in 20 localities during July–December 2012. Bushmeat, the majority of which comprised rodents and bovids, accounted for 13% of the animal protein consumed in these households. This consumption was significantly higher in households in which poverty was more acute (low annual income and more dependent children). We found that repeated awareness campaigns involving theatre performances and/or film screenings (multimedia campaigns) contributed to a decrease in bushmeat consumption. This decrease exceeded 62% after exposure to four multimedia campaigns. We highlight the importance of awareness campaigns for reducing consumption of wild animals, and demonstrate the importance of recurring multimedia campaigns to maximize the impact of such conservation activities in rural communities.


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Also at: Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Also at: Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d'Ivoire, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Also at: Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany

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