The major questions asked in this chapter are: How does seasonal lemur hunting impact people, nonhuman primates (NHPs), and other mammals? How might it inform efforts to both conserve lemurs and improve human livelihoods?
The theoretical bases used to examine these issues are: This research uses an integrated human and natural system dynamics approach because one cannot expect to address conservation and human livelihoods issues without understanding the complex interactions between humans and the environment. This approach draws from multiple disciplines including anthropology, conservation biology, and political economy.
The methods used to answer this question are: This research uses hunter shadows, extended interviews, and 24-hour recall interviews to understand seasonal variation in the consumption of animal-based foods. By using multiple methods one can understand wildlife hunting from different perspectives and at different scales. Importantly, multiple methods also allow for critical analysis of potential biases in data collection.
These methods can be used to ask similar ethnoprimatological questions, such as: Combined hunter shadows, extended interviews, and 24-hour recall interviews can be used to examine the role of NHPs in the local food system and the human incentives driving resource use.
Ethnoprimatology is an integrated approach to studying humans and NHPs that can strengthen both conservation and public health action. Biodiversity and poverty are intimately related (Barrett et al., 2011). Ecosystems affect human health (Myers et al., 2013; Redford et al., 2014) and wildlife serves as an important safety-net for rural people (Barrett et al., 2011; Brashares et al., 2011). A loss of biodiversity can result in food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition (Myers and Patz, 2009; Richardson, 2010; Myers et al., 2013). Regardless of whether people lose access to wildlife from extinction or from laws that prevent hunting, human health is likely to deteriorate (Golden et al., 2011; Fa et al., 2003). But what can one do when the food on people's plates is endangered?
Madagascar's expanding human population has faced five years of stalled economic growth, high rates of child malnutrition, an increasingly unpredictable climate, and a protracted political crisis (World Bank, 2013). One-quarter of the total population lives in zones at high risk of natural disaster, and 77% of Madagascan households are poor. Madagascar has the highest poverty rate in Africa (World Bank, 2013).