Hunting monitoring

Given the importance of hunting for the Tacana communities, in 2001 the hunters of the TCO Tacana began formally registering this activity allowing CIPTA (Tacana Indigenous Peoples Council) and its communities to make decisions to reduce the intensity of hunting of some animals like the tapir (Tapirus terrestris). Since 2004, there has been a decreasing percentage of tapir hunting, and at the same time, and a corresponding increase in white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) hunting, whose populations are more abundant.

Furthermore, there is a tendency that the distances traveled to hunt both species are maintained over time and have even decreased, which supports the previous result that communities are managing their hunting activities with sustainability criteria, given that the effort required for hunting is an indirect measure of the species abundance.

Currently, the Tacana hunting databases holds 15,802 hunting records of 55 hunted species (27 mammals, 24 birds and 4 reptiles), obtained between 2001 and 2007 (and part of 2008), as well as information on the distribution of bushmeat and its economic contribution to the indigenous communities. In terms of individuals hunting is concentrated on five species: the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari), the Bolivian red howler monkey (Alouatta sara), the South American coati (Nasua nasua), the yellow-spotted river turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) and the brown capuchin monkey (Sapajus apella).

Around 85% of hunting is destined for family consumption, and the remaining 15% is exchanged for other basic products in the community. On average each one of the 70 families that participated in the hunting monitoring program hunt obtained a protein supply of 229 kg/year (19 kg/month), representing an approximate annual meat subsidy per family of $500.

Another important aspect of the information gathered is the geo-referencing of the most common sites for hunting: in many cases these sites are relatively close to communities suggesting that populations of animals are currently able to withstand hunting extraction levels.

The spatial location of wildlife corridors has identified sites with a greater abundance of species and wildlife population abundance that overlap with identified hunting areas. These sites are in the Andean foothill forest zone: Tumupasa, Macahua, Santa Rosa de Maravilla, and along the Beni river: Carmen del Emero y Cachichira.

In the future the self-monitoring of hunting in the Tacana Indigenous Territory will be based on a new registration system, which will expand the information obtained so far and will involve educational units of the Tacana Indigenous Territory to ensure its sustainability. With the participation of schools, the development of the methodology for monitoring the hunting and fishing activities was concluded, including the curriculum design and educational materials (leaflets for data collection of animals, notebooks with information about animals and the student worksheet) to be used by teachers and students of primary and secondary Tacana schools.

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