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%20%20%20A%20survey%20of%20the%20bushmeat%20trade%20of%20the%20straw-coloured%20fruit%20bat%20(Eidolon%20helvum%20Kerr,%201792)%20at%20Maele%20Island%20(Kisangani%20city,%20Democratic%20Republic%20of%20the%20Congo)
Volume 4
  

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

1Université de Kisangani, Faculté des Sciences, Département d’Ecologie et de Gestion de Ressources Animales, B.P. 2012 Kisangani, République Démocratique du Congo
2Université de Kisangani, Centre de Surveillance de la Biodiversité, B.P 2012 Kisangani, République Démocratique du Congo
3University of Antwerp, Functional Morphology Laboratory, Antwerpen, Belgium
4University of Antwerp, Evolutionary Ecology Group, Antwerpen, Belgium
5Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, OD Taxonomy and Phylogeny, Brussels, Belgium
6Université 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
7Institut Supérieur Pédagogique d’Abumombazi, Abumombazi, Province de Nord Ubangi, République Démocratique du Congo
8Université de Kinshasa, Faculté des Sciences, Département de Biologie, B.P. 190 Kinshasa XI, République Démocratique du Congo


Koto-te-Nyiwa Ngbolua,
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Received: March 24, 2017,   Accepted: April 15, 2017,   Published:


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. V4I4. DOI: 10.15297/JALS.V4I4.04


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.


      
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      Journal of Advanced Botany and Zoology