Bushmeat consumption in Yangambi, Tshopo Province, DRC

Kambale Nyumu J1,2*., Yiwei Wang3, Gambalemoke Mbalitini S2., Shabani Ekyamba I.4, Kasereka Vitekere1, Musubaho Kako L.1 & Nathalie Van Vliet5

Surveying the vendors. Photo credit: Kambale Nyumu.

A research study on bushmeat consumption in Yangambi (DRC) conducted in 2015 was based on a survey of respondents from four categories comprised of school students, householders, meat vendors and customers.

Bushmeat consumed by Yangambi citizens included mammals, birds and reptiles spanning conservation statuses from non-protected to those protected by Congolese law and categorized as endangered, vulnerable and near threatened as per the IUCN Red List.

Primates were the most abundant bushmeat species found on the market (42.5%), followed by African pouched rat (Cricetomys) (23.5 %) blue duiker (Cephalophus monticola) (19%) and brush tailed porcupine (Atherurus africanus) (7 %). Fish was the most prominent non-vegetarian protein source (40 %).

Bushmeat was consumed according to food habits and availability. The price of bushmeat varied according to values attributed to different species. Brush-tailed porcupine, giant pangolin and bush pig sold for a higher price per Kg than other animal species because they were considered a delicacy and no attendant taboos. In contrast, meat of monkey species was cheaper than meat from farm animals.

An awareness campaign that involves stakeholder groups in Yangambi could reduce the high levels of bushmeat consumption as legislation and enforcement alone are just not enough to dissuade consumers from giving up bushmeat.

1Université de Conservation de la Nature et de Développement de Kasugho (UCNDK),

2Université de Kisangani (UNIKIS),

3San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory,

4Université Officielle de Bukavu (UOB)