Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Study finds Congo's miners often resort to hunting wildlife for food
by Staff Writers
Kinshasa, DR Congo (SPX) May 31, 2017


A new study by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) has revealed how mining for valuable minerals in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a major driving factor in the illegal hunting of great apes and other wildlife for food.

The majority of individuals surveyed at mining camps during the 3-month study period said they hunted mostly out of necessity in the absence of any alternative protein, and would much prefer to eat beef, chicken, and fish instead of chimpanzee or gorilla if it were available.

The new study titled "The socio-economics of artisanal mining and bushmeat hunting around protected areas: Kahuzi-Biega National Park and Itombwe Nature Reserve, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo" appears in the online version of the journal Oryx. The authors are: Charlotte Spira, Andrew Kirkby, Deo Kujirakwinja, and Andrew Plumptre of WCS.

Eastern DRC is known for its exceptional biodiversity and its assemblage of large charismatic species, including threatened great ape species such as the endangered eastern chimpanzee and the critically endangered Grauer's gorilla. The region also contains globally significant deposits of valuable minerals such as gold, cassiterite (used to make tin), and coltan, a mineral in high demand for use in cell phones and other technology.

Artisanal and small-scale mining represents a significant source of livelihoods in the DRC, where an estimated 8-10 million people (14-16 percent of the country's population in 2008) take part in the industry. In the eastern part of the country, mining operations have had devastating impacts on wildlife, even within the confines of protected areas such as Kahuzi-Biega National Park and the Itombwe Nature Reserve. Grauer's gorilla numbers have declined by 77 percent over the past 20 years due to hunting, which the presence of mining sites continues to fuel.

Wildlife rangers trying to protect these natural resources face extreme danger as armed militias and insurgent groups inside national parks occupy vast swaths of wildlife habitat in order to illegally control and exploit access to minerals.

Many sites visited during the survey were controlled by armed groups and indeed more than 20 percent of tin and coltan mines in the region are thought to be controlled by armed groups. The presence of armed groups results in a proliferation of arms that facilitates both the hunting of great apes and a general breakdown in rule of law for local communities.

"Our analysis shows that although mining attracts people due to the opportunity to get quick cash, most miners were in favor of leaving the sector for better and safer economic opportunities," said WCS researcher Charlotte Spira, the lead author of the study.

"We also found that most miners who participated in the survey hunt wildlife out of necessity, and many would stop hunting if they had a secure income, if domestic sources of meat were made available, and if hunting laws were strongly enforced."

The authors of the study suggest that a better regulated mining sector in forests outside of protected areas would improve local governance, social wellbeing and economic opportunities whilst reducing negative environmental impacts.

International measures, such as the US government's Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals Rule that require transparency by companies and businesses in sourcing conflict minerals - which is currently being contested by the US Securities and Exchange Commission - are important and should be encouraged.

"Mining in the region can be greatly improved through the demilitarization of mining sites along with law enforcement to prevent bushmeat hunting, and more access to domestic sources of protein that would reduce the need for bushmeat," said Richard Tshombe, Director for WCS's Democratic Republic of Congo Program.

"Developing sustainable business opportunities that can compete with the economic benefits of mining could support miners to pursue other avenues of employment and at the same time help ease the burden of mining in DRC's most biodiverse landscapes."

Targeted conservation could protect more of Earth's biodiversity
New Haven CT (SPX) May 30, 2017
A new study finds that major gains in global biodiversity can be achieved if an additional 5% of land is set aside to protect key species. Scientists from Yale University and the University of Grenoble said such an effort could triple the protected range of those species and safeguard their functional diversity. The findings underscore the need to look beyond species numbers when developing cons ... read more

Related Links
Wildlife Conservation Society
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Refugees face 'acute crisis' in cyclone-hit Bangladesh

Study finds Congo's miners often resort to hunting wildlife for food

Nuclear spent fuel fire could force millions of people to relocate

Disaster risk management: Science helps save lives

New method allows real-time monitoring of irradiated materials

Neutron lifetime measurements take new shape for in situ detection

Solving the riddle of the snow globe

Bamboo inspires optimal design for lightness and toughness

A 3-D look at the 2015 El Nino

Faceless fish among weird deep sea Australian finds

Growing sea cucumber demand threatening coastal communities

Fiji's COP 23 leader vows climate fight 'far from over'

Previously, on Arctic warming

New Light on the Future of a Key Antarctic Glacier

Arctic peoples' climate pleas fell on deaf ears

Methane seeping from Arctic seabed may have an upside

In China, maggots finish plates, and food waste

Bordeaux pins hopes for ravaged vineyards on June bloom

Bordeaux pins hopes for ravaged vineyards on June bloom

Helping plants pump iron

Sri Lanka appeals for help as floods foul water supply

Death by volcano

Bangladesh navy rescues cyclone survivors

Sri Lanka deploys thousands of troops as flood toll climbs to 169

Benin to invest in one of West Africa's last wildlife havens

Ivory Coast army chief meets mutineers in their barracks

Biafra's military veterans: no regrets, 50 years on

Rwanda to control presidential candidates' social media use

Fossil skeleton confirms earliest primates were tree dwellers

Springs were critical water sources for early humans in East Africa, Rutgers study finds

Researchers Identify Conductor of Brain's Neural Orchestra and Begin to Decode the Score

New hypothesis about the origin of humankind suggests oldest hominin lived in Europe

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement