Drivers and sustainability of bird hunting in Madagascar

Cortni Borgerson, Richard J. Bankoff, Christopher D. Golden, Be Noel Razafindrapaoly, Be Jean Rodolph Rasolofoniaina, Delox Rajaona, Elison Pascal, Peter De Angelo, Dominic A. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bird conservation depends on robust data on the densities of and threats to each species, and an understanding of the choices and incentives of bird hunters. This first comprehensive study of bird hunting and its effects in Madagascar uses 8 years of data on 87 bird species to determine bird densities and hunting pressure, incentives, choices, methods, spatial variation, and sustainability on the Masoala Peninsula of Madagascar. We find that bird hunting is common, affecting human wellbeing and, for some species, long-term population viability. Hunters caught more abundant species of lower trophic levels and consumers preferred the flavor of abundant granivores and nectarivores, while they disliked carnivores, scavengers, and species with common cultural proscriptions. Wealth increased species selectivity among consumers, whereas food insecurity increased hunting pressure overall. Projected and documented declines in at least three species are concerning, qualifying at least two for increased IUCN threatened species categories. We provide novel, data-driven assessments of hunting's threat to Madagascar's birds, identify key species of concern, and suggest both species- and consumer-specific conservation actions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12960
JournalConservation Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023


  • Agapornis canus
  • Coracopsis
  • Masoala National Park
  • Treron australis
  • bushmeat
  • conservation
  • density
  • population viability analysis


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