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Law of the Jungle, Ignored

Law of the Jungle - Image by Exel magazine

August 23, 2016

On Equatorial Guinea’s island of Bioko, rising prosperity and lax conservation enforcement have devastated the population of primates and other animals prized by consumers as “bushmeat” delicacies.

Thirteen years of data collected by a team of researchers on the island of Bioko show how ineffective the country’s lax environmental conservation laws were in stemming the growth of illegal hunting.

Bioko, part of the nation of Equatorial Guinea, is a volcanic island in the Gulf of Guinea located off the coast of Cameroon in central Africa. Bioko’s tropical coastal and mountain forests are a relatively understudied biodiversity hotspot and home to numerous species of threatened and endangered monkeys at risk from commercial hunting.

The team’s full dataset from their long-running study was published for the first time last year in the journal PLOS One.

Researchers tallied the types and amounts of bushmeat sold at market in the capital city of Malabo between 1997 and 2010 and measured the increases in relation to the country’s prosperity and other political and legal conditions. With the discovery of offshore oil, the island’s prosperity has increased, and so has demand for the meat.

Read more in Exel magazine