Journal Article

Widespread use of traditional techniques by local people for hunting the yellow-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis denticulatus) across the Amazon


Understanding the repertoire of hunting techniques used by traditional peoples in tropical forests is crucial for recognizing the role of traditional knowledge in hunting activities, as well as assessing the impact of harvests on game species. We describe the hunting techniques used across Amazonia by Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples for hunting yellow-footed tortoises (Chelonoidis denticulatus), one of the most consumed species in the biome. We interviewed 178 local people in 25 communities living in seven study areas in the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon. We used a Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCoA) and Analysis of Similarity (ANOSIM) to compare the hunting techniques between ethnic groups and the ages of the interviewees. Four different techniques were reported: (1) trapping with bait (46%; n = 122); (2) hunting with dogs (35%; n = 92); (3) active searching (14 %; n = 37); and (4) visiting fruiting trees (5%; n = 14). Trapping with bait was alleged to be the most cost-effective technique by 67% of the interviewees. Among the baits used, 93% involved the use of wild species as rotten meat. Hunting with dogs was also frequently cited and involved eight different methods of training. The hunting techniques recorded were not significantly different among ethnic groups or generations. The consonance among the technique repertoire likely reflects a shared knowledge still in use across different cultural groups. There is a potential for applying the hunting techniques to large scale community-based monitoring and management programs, but the impact on additional species affected, such as species intentionally captured to be used as bait, should be considered. Local assessments and community-based management plans that incorporate traditional ecological knowledge are recommended to guarantee the maintenance of livelihoods and ensure the species' conservation in Amazonia.

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Tavares, Aline Santos
Mayor, Pedro
Loureiro, Luiz Francisco
Gilmore, Michael P.
Perez-Peña, Pedro
Bowler, Mark
Lemos, Lísley Pereira
Svensson, Magdalena S.
Nekaris, K. Anne-Isola
Nijman, Vincent
Valsecchi, João
Queiroz Morcatty, Thais

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Social Sciences


Year: 2020

All rights reserved.

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Widespread use of traditional techniques by local people for hunting the yellow-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis denticulatus) across the Amazon