Assessing Attitudes Towards Bushmeat on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea

Sunday, February 14, 2016
Demetrio Bocuma Mene, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
The rich biodiversity of Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea is seriously threatened by illegal hunting to supply the bushmeat market in the capital city, Malabo. Legal systems are in place to protect the endangered wildlife, yet effective law enforcement and the legitimacy of protected areas in Bioko are still lacking. This project sought to understand local attitudes towards bushmeat and drivers of its urban consumption, despite its prohibitive costs, as well as to identify more economical and sustainable alternative protein sources. We administered an anonymous questionnaire to a total of 322 participants in public places and towns between July-September 2013. The majority of participants were comprised of the two major ethnic groups of Equatorial Guinea, Fang (67%) and Bubi (24%). Both Fang (61.6%) and Bubi (60.5%) respondents’ preferred protein source was bushmeat, however; the Fang were the only group that preferred monkey meat, or that could afford to consume bushmeat several times per week (4.43%). BBPP recently developed a conservation documentary already seen by 60% of respondents, of which 55% reported a positive attitude change towards biodiversity. Our results suggest that although bushmeat consumption is widespread and locally preferred, public awareness strategies, such as the drill project documentary, can have a positive impact on attitudes towards wildlife. Government supported conservation measures, along with livelihood opportunities, logistics and financial resources will be vital to change people’s attitudes towards wildlife.