Human utilization of wildlife resources in Costa Rica
Studies of hunting activities in tropical areas have addressed two questions: 1) does the abundance of species differ in hunted and unhunted places? and 2) are there differences in the hunting by indigenous people vs colonists?. The answer to both of these questions is, generally, yes; there is a decrease in the abundance of many species in areas with hunting activity (Peres 1990, Fragoso 1991, Glanz 1991), and there are many differences between hunting by indigenous people and colonists (Redford and Robinson 1989). Very few studies, however, have assessed differences where it is possible distinguish groups or communities of colonists. One might ask if there is a differentiation in the use of wildlife species between these colonist communities, or if different colonist communities have the same knowledge about wildlife species. Also, we do not know what their attitudes are toward wildlife or what their motivations to hunt are. To answer some of these questions I propose carry out a study in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. In this area colonists can be identified as farmers, loggers and miners. All these groups, plus indigenous people, are hunting wildlife species in the area. The objectives of my study are to: 1) assess how different human communities (farmers, miners and indigenous) use wildlife species in Osa Peninsula, 2) survey the knowledge of wildlife species and the hunting motivation/attitudes of these three human communities, 3) estimate the population trends of medium sized and large mammals and some birds species in areas near to different human communities in Osa Peninsula and 4) assess the impact of these different human group on the distribution of medium-sized and large mammals and some birds species.
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Updated: October 15, 2012