Freelisting as a suitable method to estimate the composition and harvest rates of hunted species in tropical forests




Wildlife, Hunting, Participatory methods, Local communities, Amazon


The aim of this study was to test the use of measures obtained from freelisting as possible surrogates of the harvest rate of game species. For this purpose, we interviewed 100 rural and urban hunters in southwestern Amazonia to obtain the frequency of citations of each hunted species through freelisting and gather information on the number of individuals hunted per species in the last five hunting events through hunting recalls. We assessed the relationship between the percentage of records per species by each method through a generalized linear model, and then compared the predicted values obtained from this model with the values observed in our dataset using Pearson’s correlation. During freelisting, forty-three taxa were listed in 608 citations as hunted by the informants. Freelisting provided data on around twice the number of species obtained from recalls. During the last five hunting trips, urban hunters reported the hunting of 164 individuals of 18 species, representing 54.5% of the freelisted species. Rural hunters caught 146 individuals of 21 species, 60.0% of the freelisted species. We found a strong logistic relationship between the harvest rates, i.e., percentage of individuals hunted per species from recalls, and the freelisting percentage citations of game species, with the estimated and observed values of harvest rates highly matching (Pearson's R = 0.98, p < 0.0001). The freelisting method allowed a good estimate of the composition and the harvest rates of hunted species. The formula produced in this study can be used as a reference for further studies, enabling researchers to use freelisting effectively to assess the composition of hunted species and to address the difficulty of obtaining reliable data on species harvest rates in tropical forests, especially in short-term studies and contexts in which hunters distrust research.

Author Biographies

Marcela Alvares Oliveira, Universidade Federal de Rondônia

Biologist and Ph.D. candidate in Biodiversity and Biotechnology at the Federal University of Rondônia (UNIR). It conducts research on the use of zootherapics, the interaction between humans and wild animals, ecology and distribution of mammals (especially primates), subsistence hunting, sport hunting, and wild meat consumption in the southern portion of the Brazilian Amazon. It is part of RedeFauna, a group of researchers dedicated to the conservation and management of Amazonian fauna.

Hani R. El Bizri, ComFauna, Comunidad de Manejo de Fauna Silvestre en la Amazonía y en Latinoamérica

I am currently a Research Fellow in Zoo Outreach and Conservation of Primates at Oxford Brookes University. I have been working on game species for over 10 years, especially in the Amazon. My studies involve understanding the hunting, trade, and consumption of wild meat by local people and urban residents, and refining life-history traits of game species using data collected through participatory methods, such as community-based collection of biological samples and citizen science.

Thais Q. Morcatty, Oxford Wildlife Trade Research Group, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK

Currently a PhD candidate in Anthropology and Geography. My research focuses on human-wildlife interactions and their implications for conservation, especially on the use and trade of wild species for wildmeat, pet, decoration, etc. My research experience ranges from local communities in the Amazon to international trade. Supported by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN), and British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG).

Mariluce Rezende Messias, Universidade Federal de Rondônia

Graduada em Bacharelado e Licenciatura em Ciências Biológicas pela Universidade Estadual de Campinas - UNICAMP (1990), mestre em Ciências Biológicas (área de concentração Zoologia) pela Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho - UNESP, Campus Rio Claro/SP (1995) e doutora em Ciências Biológicas (área de concentração Zoologia) pela UNESP Rio Claro/SP (2002). Docente da Fundação Universidade Federal de Rondônia -UNIR, Campus de Porto Velho, Departamento de Biologia. Docente Permanente e Membro do Colegiado do PPG Conservação e Uso dos Recursos Naturais - PPGReN, Dept de Biologia, UNIR, Porto Velho. Pesquisadora Associada ao PPG BIONORTE, regional RO. Vice-líder o grupo de pesquisas "Estudos ecológicos da biodiversidade da Amazônia Sul-Ocidental". Áreas de pesquisa: ecologia, comportamento e biogeografia de mamíferos terrestres, monitoramento de impactos de atividades antrópicas em comunidades de vertebrados terrestres; estudos dos mamíferos silvestres com foco na vigilância epidemiológica de remanescentes florestais urbanos e periurbanos. Coordenadora do Lab. de Mastozoologia & Vertebrados Terrestres. .Curadora as Coleções de Referência de Mastofauna e Herpetofauna do estado de Rondônia. Coordenadora do Núcleo Docente Estruturante (NDE) do curso de Bacharelado em Ciências Biológicas de Porto Velho.  

Carolina Rodrigues da Costa Doria, Universidade Federal de Rondônia

Possui graduação em Ciências Biológicas pela Universidade Estadual de Londrina (1991), mestrado em Ecologia de Ambientes Aquáticos Continentais pela Universidade Estadual de Maringá (1994), doutorado em Desenvolvimento Sustentável do Trópico Úmido pela Universidade Federal do Pará (2004) e pós-doutorado em Gestão Pesqueira na Universidade da Florida . Atualmente é Professora Titular da Universidade Federal de Rondônia, Docente do Departamento de Biologia, do Programa de Pós-graduação em Desenvolvimento Regional e Meio Ambiente, da Rede Bionorte e do PG Conservação de Recursos Naturais. Visiting Faculty in the Center for Latin American Studies of University of Florida. Também membro da Ação Ecológica Guaporé (ECOPORÉ - ONG). Meus interesses de pesquisa incluem ictiologia e gestão pesqueira, gestão comunitária dos recursos naturais, impactos das barragens, governança e resiliência dos sistemas sócio-ecológicos na Amazônia.


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How to Cite

Oliveira, M. A., El Bizri , H. R., Morcatty, T. Q. ., Messias, M. R. ., & Doria, C. R. da C. . (2022). Freelisting as a suitable method to estimate the composition and harvest rates of hunted species in tropical forests. Ethnobiology and Conservation, 11.



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