A survey of the bushmeat trade of the straw-coloured fruit bat (Eidolon helvum Kerr, 1792) at Maele Island (Kisangani city, Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Musaba P. Akawa, Malekani A. Bendeki, Kirongozi F. Botelanyele, Shabani I, Nebesse C. Mololo, Van V. Cakenberghe, E. Verheyen; Gembu G.C. Tungaluna, Justin A. Asimonyio, Masengo C. Ashande, Koto-te-Nyiwa Ngbolua
Corresponding Author : Koto-te-Nyiwa Ngbolua
Université de Gbado-Lite, Faculté des Sciences, Département des Sciences de l’Environnement, B.P. 111 Gbado-Lite, Province de Nord Ubangi, République Démocratique du Congo
Email ID : firstname.lastname@example.org
Received : 2017-03-24 Accepted : 2017-04-15 Published : 2017-04-15
Abstract : Although bats carry out important beneficial ecological and agricultural functions such as pollination and dispersion of seeds, they often carry dangerous diseases. This is worrying because of the increased dependency of the urban populations in Kisangani on bats as a source of animal proteins. The straw-coloured fruit bat (Eidolon helvum) is one of the most notable bat species that is both important as a food source and as a host for zoonotic diseases. It is a widely distributed species, which is relatively common throughout its distribution area. Recently, it was classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List due to a decreasing population trend. To evaluate the hunting pressure on this species and the supply of straw-coloured fruit bats for human consumption, we inventoried the carcasses of this species on one of the main bushmeat markets in the region of Kisangani, situated on the island of Maele. Our survey was carried out between January and December 2013 and targeted hunters as well as traders. In total, we counted 3,034 carcasses. Our preliminary results suggest that the hunting pressure on the straw-coloured fruit bat is rather stable. It is highest during the months of October, September and May and lowest in April and December. Our results do not show a decline in trade of these bats during August through November, when hunting is illegal in the DR Congo. This suggests that hunting activities are not ceased during that period. The fact that the local population consumes these bats on a regular basis throughout the year creates a very important opportunity for spill-over events that may lead to the outbreaks of zoonotic diseases.
Keywords : Bat, bushmeat, hunting, Eidolon helvum, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Citation : Koto-te-Nyiwa Ngbolua, et al. (2017). A survey of the bushmeat trade of the straw-coloured fruit bat (Eidolon helvum Kerr, 1792) at Maele Island (Kisangani city, Democratic Republic of the Congo), J. of Advanced Botany and Zoology. V4I404. DOI : 10.5281/zenodo.918365
Copyright : © 2017 Koto-te-Nyiwa Ngbolua. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Journal of Advanced Botany and Zoology
ISSN : 2348-7313
Volume 4 / Issue 4
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