Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation
Policy Forums
Community-based population recovery of overexploited Amazonian wildlife
João Vitor Campos-Silvaa,, , Carlos A. Peresb, André P. Antunesc, João Valsecchid, Juarez Pezzutie
a Institute of Biological and Health Sciences, Federal University of Alagoas, Av. Lourival Melo Mota, s/n, Tabuleiro do Martins, Maceió 57072-900, AL, Brazil
b Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR47TJ, UK
c Wildlife Conservation Society Brasil, Federal University of Amazonas, Av. Rodrigo Otavio, 3000, Manaus 69077-000, Amazonas, Brazil
d Mamiraua Sustainable Development Institute (IDSM), Estrada da Bexiga 2584, Fonte Boa, Tefé, AM, Brazil
e Centre for Advanced Amazon Studies, Federal University of Para, R. Augusto Correa 01, CEP 66075-110, Belém, PA, Brazil
Received 03 June 2017, Accepted 18 August 2017
Abstract

The Amazon Basin experienced a pervasive process of resource overexploitation during the 20th-century, which induced severe population declines of many iconic vertebrate species. In addition to biodiversity loss and the ecological consequences of defaunation, food security of local communities was relentlessly threatened because wild meat had a historically pivotal role in protein acquisition by local dwellers. Here we discuss the urgent need to regulate subsistence hunting by Amazonian semi-subsistence local communities, which are far removed from the market and information economy. Following positive examples from community-based management of aquatic and terrestrial resources, we advocate that hunting practices, based on modern scientific principles firmly grounded in population ecology, represent a strong window of opportunity to recover viable populations of previously overexploited wildlife.

Keywords
Hunting regulation, Protected areas, Community-based conservation, Overexploitation