Bush Meat: African Apes Essay

The African people. peculiarly those who live in and near forest countries. have been eating meat of wild animate beings or bushmeat for centuries. They hunted for subsistence. as bushmeat was a chief beginning of protein in the wood. But as Africa’s forests progressively become more accessible through urbanisation. the hunting for bushmeat in West and Central Africa is now developing into an tremendous and highly profitable commercial trade. In fact. bushmeat is now being exported to and sold in belowground markets in the United States and Europe. where bushmeat is treated as a luxury nutrient point like caviar or shark meat.

With the increasing demand for bushmeat in and out of Africa and the turning trade that supplies it. bushmeat hunting is now the greatest menace to Africa’s great ape population. Meats from Pan troglodytess. gorillas and pygmy chimpanzee may merely be a little proportion in the bushmeat trade. but because these great apes reproduce more easy than other mammals the hunting puts them in danger of extinction. The absence of parent apes to foster their immature besides poses a hazard to the great ape population. Young orphaned apes. because they still don’t have much meat in them to eat. are being sold as pets.

Environmentalists argue that unless the bushmeat trade is stopped there would be no more feasible great ape population within 50 old ages. There are three African great apes: pygmy chimpanzee. Pan troglodytess and gorillas. All three are now endangered species. The subsequent ape population estimations provided here. unless otherwise stated. are from 1996 figures. Bonobos can merely be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo and were estimated to be 10. 000-25. 000 in Numberss. Western Pan troglodytess. estimated to be 12. 000. could still be found in Guinea. Sierra Leone. Liberia. Cote d’Ivoire. Mali. Ghana and Senegal.

This sub-species of Pan troglodytess are now nonextant in Gambia. Guinea Bissau. Burkina Faso. Togo and Benin. The cardinal Pan troglodytes population was estimated to be 80. 000. They can still be found in Gabon. Congo ( Brazzaville ) . Cameroon. Cardinal African Republic. Equatorial Guinea. Nigeria and Angola ( Cabinda enclave merely ) . The last sub-species of the Pan troglodytes is the eastern Pan troglodytes and could be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda. Tanzania. Burundi. Rwanda and Sudan. Their population was estimated to be 13. 000.

There are besides three sub-species of the gorilla: the western lowland gorilla. the eastern lowland gorilla and the mountain gorilla. The western lowland gorilla. with an estimated population of 110. 000. unrecorded in the provinces of Gabon. Equatorial Guinea. Congo ( Brazzaville ) . Cameroon. Cardinal African Republic. Nigeria and Angola. The eastern lowland gorilla. interim. could merely be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its population is estimated to run from 8. 700-25. 500 in 1998. Last. the mountain gorilla is the fewest of all the great apes.

There are merely about 600 of them and they could be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda and Uganda. Rose ( 1998 ) had cited assorted surveies on bushmeat trade across West and Central Africa. The bushmeat commercialism around the Congolese metropolis of Ouesso done by Hennessey found that 64 % of the bushmeat in the country came from merely one small town and that a individual huntsman could hold supplied more than 80 gorillas yearly. He besides estimated that 19 Pan troglodytess are killed every twelvemonth in the metropolis.

In the Sangha part. many huntsmans prefer to merchandise their bushmeat at Ouesso instead than sell them at logging grants because in Ouesso they can sell it for a higher monetary value. As cited by Rose. Stromayer & A ; Ekobo had reported that Ouesso and Brazzaville are the “ultimate beginnings of demand” for bushmeat. There is besides an intense hunting of gorillas and Pan troglodytess in southeasterly Cameroon. Most of the meats hunted here are shipped to the provincial capital of Bertoua and to Yaounde and Douala where huntsmans could do more net incomes.

Bushmeat trade is besides present in small towns near Lope. Ndoki and Dja Reserves. and in metropolis markets at Bangui. Kinshasa. Pt Noire and Libreville. Based on the surveies on bushmeat commercialism. Rise extrapolates that “the bushmeat trade across equatorial Africa could be more than a two billion-dollar one-year concern. If logging and runing continue to spread out unbridled. the Numberss of monkeys and apes killed for the cookery pot will increase. ” A good final payment is a great motive for huntsmans of bushmeat.

Bowen-Jones ( 1998 ) said chimpanzee carcases in Cameroon could pay every bit much as $ US20 to $ 25 each. The addition in bushmeat hunting has been fueled by general betterments in substructure. which makes route entree to woods and transit to urban markets easier. The turning lumber industry. dominated by European-owned companies and progressively joined by Asiatic industries. besides increased demand and helped ease the supply terminal. The forestry employees hunt so they could supply for their ain demands.

Commercial huntsmans abound to supply for the demands of forestry workers and other consumers outside the forested part. Buyers of bushmeat are non merely the logging cantonment households. but besides restauranters and private banquets in affluent national capitals. Bushmeat is sold at monetary values runing from two to six times that of beef or porc. both of which are readily available to consumers in larger towns and metropoliss. The increasing handiness of guns besides adds to the pervasiveness of the bushmeat trade. The enlargement of commercialism in Africa besides threatens the cultural heritage of African communities.

As cited by Rose ( 1998 ) . Mordi’s survey of attitudes toward wildlife in Botswana found that “contemporary Africans have lost their traditional ‘theistic’ fear for wildlife and many have taken on the harshest useful position. ” Rose further explained that “tribal values of conserving and protecting non-human life are rendered spiritually inoperable. while new ecological and ethical foundations for prolonging nature have non emerged. ” He besides cited Ammann’s talk in Washington DC to describe that African folks that had before out the ingestion of Primatess are now get downing to eat their meat.

Rose further says that. in Africa. “A ‘live for today’ attitude prevails. This holds for people fighting to last. every bit good as for affluent Africans. ” Mentioning Hart’s 1978 survey. Bowen-Jones ( 1998 ) reported that the alteration from subsistence to commercial hunting began half a century ago. Hart’s survey of the Mbuti Pygmies of the Ituri forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo found that the pigmies had began doing contact with meat bargainers in the 1950s. These meat bargainers went with them to their forest cantonments to advance “intensification of traditional runing methods such as communal net thrusts.

” Meat. so. was a agency for swap. They exchanged it for Fe tools. baccy or agriculturally produced nutrient. In many other topographic points in Central Africa. autochthonal forest inhabitants have besides been merchandising meat for other trade goods for a long clip. Bowen-Jones suggested that “This trading ethos. accompanied in some instances by changing grades of coercion. has led to an frequently hierarchal construction in the freshly thriving commercial trade in meat from the wood. where Bantu frequenters [ who are agriculturists ] make usage of Pygmy huntsmans.

In other instances. the hunting is carried out by immigrants attracted by work or the chance of doing money by poaching and runing. However. the common denominator is that. progressively. animate beings are hunted non for local ingestion but for the urban population Centres. where demand keeps monetary values high and inspires others in the wood to run. ” Another job posed by bushmeat hunting is the hazard of conveying unsafe diseases to worlds. This is because apes. being the closest life family to worlds. seaport pathogens that besides affect worlds.

The Ebola virus. which is epidemic in Pan troglodytess and gorillas. has been found to come from dead carcases of Primatess and could distribute during slaughtering. Scientists have reported in an Independent Online article by Fox ( 2004 ) that the virus breaks out when people slaughter Pan troglodytess. gorillas and little antelopes. The Ebola virus had killed 29 people in the Congo Republic in January 2004. And ever increased carnal mortality ever comes before the first human instances.

HIV. which causes AIDS. is besides said to hold been transmitted to worlds from apes. Hunting and slaughtering green goodss blood spatters which can easy make morbific aerosols. Rose ( 1998 ) reported that medical scientists have discovered grounds that points to western African Pan troglodytess as the original beginning of the viruses that causes AIDS. Bushmeat runing “could convey new signifiers of SIV that could farther spread out the AIDS epidemic. The illegal bushmeat commercialism had before been viewed as a wildlife crisis.

But now. with grounds back uping the transportation of epidemic diseases from apes to worlds. the bushmeat crisis extends from a job of ape extinction to a menace to human civilisation. To sum up. the illegal bushmeat trade is fueled by: the increasing demand in and out of Africa ; the decreasing cultural fear for wildlife ; the quickly turning lumber industry: the betterment of forestry substructure like roads. vehicles and cantonments ; and the increasing handiness of guns.

Some of the effects of an unregulated bushmeat commercialism are as follows: vulnerable and endangered species. including all three African great apes. face extinction ; unprotected and uncontrived species are put in danger ; the ancient civilization of African autochthonal communities are imperiled ; and there is an increased hazard of conveying unsafe diseases to worlds. Bibliography: Rose. A. ( 1998 ) . Turning Commerce In Bushmeat Destroys Great Apes And Threatens Humanity. Retrieved February 22. 2007 from hypertext transfer protocol: //bushmeat.

net/afprimates98. htm Bowen-Jones. E. ( 1998 ) . A Reappraisal of the Commercial Bushmeat Trade with Emphasis on Central/West Africa and the Great Apes. In The African Bushmeat Trade – A Recipe For Extinction. Ape Alliance. Retrieved February 22. 2007 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. 4apes. com/bushmeat/report/bushmeat. pdf Fox. M. ( 2004. January 15 ) . Ebola may come from ‘bush meat’ – survey. Independent Online. Retrieved February 22. 2007 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. lens implant. co. za/index. php? click_id=117 & A ; art_id=qw1074190685813B243 & A ; set_id=1