Local poaching of aardvark (Orycteropus afer, Pallas 1766) in the Monts Kouffé Protected Forest (MKPF), Benin
Keywords:Aardvark, Food use, Benin, Poaching, Bushmeat
Increasing demand for bushmeat threatens the extinction of many local animal species. The aardvark (Orycteropus afer) is a mammal species classified as endangered EN on the red list of Benin. The Monts Kouffé Protected Forest (MKPF) is home to one of its last populations in Benin. This research explores the process of poaching of the aardvark, the reasons for this act and its impact on its population in (MKPF) in Benin. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 100 people in 5 villages bordering the forest. The aardvark is poached by local populations for food (88%), the use of these organs in traditional African medicine (40%) and sale of these organs (24%). The species were killed by local hunters in a planned fashion, and farmers killed the animals by chance. This practice of poaching affects maybe the aardvark population, which according to respondents is in great decline in the MKPF. The effective management of the MKPF aardvark population requires more in-depth research, in particular on the size of its population and the awareness of local populations.
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