From: Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM, More from this Affiliate
Published July 9, 2012 04:11 PM

Poaching in the Serengeti linked to poverty, high legal hunting prices

In the effort to protect the Serengeti—arguably Africa's most famous ecosystem—one of the major problems is the bushmeat trade. Population growth, little available protein, poverty, and a long-standing history of hunting has led many communities to poach wildlife within Serengeti National Park. Interviewing over a thousand community members in the western Serengeti, scientists found that community members are largely aware that wildlife hunting is illegal and that conservation of wild species is important, but hunt animals anyway partly out of necessity.

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"Communities in western Serengeti are involved in wildlife hunting not because they lack knowledge about the illegality of wildlife hunting and the importance of conservation of wildlife species, but because they lack alternative sources of meat," the researchers write in the new study in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science. They further note that despite promises, local communities find little economic gain from the park.

Article continues at Endangered.

Lions by Rhett Butler image via Mongabay

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