Record Details

Escamilla, A.;Sanvicente, M.;Sosa, M.;Galindo-Leal, C.
Habitat mosaic, wildlife availability, and hunting in the tropical forest of Calakmul, Mexico
Conservation Biology
Journal Article
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Habitat loss and subsistence hunting are two of the main activities that affect wildlife in frontier areas. We compared subsistence hunting patterns in four villages with different ethnic composition and degree of habitat disturbance in the vicinity of Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, Campeche, Mexico. We also compared differences between some of these villages in harvest composition and prey availability to determine hunting preferences. We used a Landsat TM satellite image to analyze the degree of disturbance around the villages. We conducted periodic surveys of subsistence hunting and prey availability. Wildlife availability was assessed monthly on nine transects (3000 m) established in the vicinity of three villages. The relative around of disturbed habitat was smaller in a indigenous Maya village (IV) and larger in a mestizo village (MV). The two mixed-composition villages (MCVs) had intermediate levels of disturbance. Ten species, four large and six small, of birds and mammals accounted for 97% of the hunting records. Hunting was more intense in IV and less intense in MCV1. The three village types has different hunting preferences. The habitat-mosaic composition in the vicinity of the villages influenced prey availability and subsistence-hunting preferences. Changes in the habitat mosaic were caused by the size of the holding and by ethnic composition. In spite of longer settlement time, the habitat mosaic in the vicinity of IV was less transformed than that of the other sites. Their larger holding size and greater diversity of economic activities may explain why the Mayas at IV have transformed the landscape less than the other groups and can hunt more and larger prey.
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