Abstract # 1937 Event # 120:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 10:40 AM-11:10 AM: Session 11 (Regency East #3) Oral Presentation


INVESTIGATING PRIMATE COMMUNITY BIOMASS IN HUNTED VERSES NON-HUNTED REGIONS OF YASUNÍ NATIONAL PARK, EASTERN ECUADOR

A. M. Derby
Stony Brook University, Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences, Stony Brook , NY 11794, USA
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     Subsistence hunting affects vast tracts of tropical wilderness in South America and it has been suggested that human colonization, which leads to prolonged hunting pressure and forest clearing, results in significant negative effects on the abundance and the diversity of mammalian communities. Recently, Yasuní National Park, an area that conserves one of the largest contiguous tracts of Amazonian rainforest, has experienced a rapid growth of human colonization by indigenous groups that has led to increased primate hunting. This project assessed the abundance and diversity of the primate community within this region and evaluated what effect hunting pressure may be having on it. Research was conducted February-December 2005 at two sites within Yasuní, one hunted and one non-hunted. Population densities were estimated using line-transect sampling (128 km) and supplemental data from known group locations, size and composition attained from daily site surveys. Hunting rates were estimated through 1) interviews with Huaorani hunters and 2) documented annual species harvest data. Results indicate densities at the hunted site do not match expected densities from the non-hunted site (chi square, p<0.05) and six of the seven taxa occur at lower densities in the hunted area. The estimated consumption rate per community is about 1000 primates/year. Strategies for conservation education and sustainability of Yasuní’s primate community are discussed in the context of Huaorani culture. Supported by ASP and NSF.