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Urban wild meat and pangolin consumption across southern forested Cameroon: The limited influence of COVID‐19

Simo, Franklin T., Difouo, Ghislain F., Tchana, Christian N., Wandji, Alain Christel, Djomnang‐Nkwala, Alfiery Laurel, Mbadjoun Nziké, Marcelle, Kekeunou, Sévilor, Swiacká, Markéta, Ingram, Daniel J. (2024) Urban wild meat and pangolin consumption across southern forested Cameroon: The limited influence of COVID‐19. People and Nature, . Article Number pan3.10634. ISSN 2575-8314. (doi:10.1002/pan3.10634) (KAR id:105485)


Overexploitation of wildlife is pervasive in many tropical regions, and in addition to being a significant conservation and sustainability concern, it has received global attention given discussions over the origins of zoonotic disease outbreaks. Where unsustainable, consumption of wild meat by urban residents has been identified as a major socio‐environmental challenge, given it is a significant driver of wildlife declines. Yet, information on urban wild meat consumers and possible ways to target conservation interventions remains lacking. Using one of the largest datasets of urban wild meat consumers (1391) collected through structured questionnaires in 20 towns and cities, we model the demographic, psychographic and spatial factors associated with wild meat consumption patterns in southern Cameroon. We find that nearly half of the sampled consumers ate wild meat once per week or more, and find that the probability of being a frequent consumer was greater among men, those living in smaller towns, and those who do not consider there to be a link between eating wild meat and disease. Threatened pangolin species are highly preferred among urban consumers, and most consumers did not consider there to be a link between COVID‐19 and pangolins. Most respondents had eaten wild meat since the beginning of COVID‐19 and had not reduced their wild meat consumption due to COVID‐19. For the first time, we show that consumers with beliefs against a link between wild meat consumption and disease and those with greater income were less likely to have decreased their wild meat consumption. We identified stakeholders including teachers and religious/community leaders as potentially appropriate messengers for demand‐reduction campaigns, with television and radio being the most trusted communication channels among wild meat consumers. Crucially, our study advances current scientific understanding of the factors that influence wild meat consumption frequency and change due to COVID‐19 by urban consumers (particularly health beliefs and settlement size). We discuss how our results could be used to inform the design of wild meat demand‐reduction interventions to bring the consumption of wild meat towards sustainability in Cameroon, and our approach applied pan‐tropically. Read the free Plain Language Summary for this article on the Journal blog.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/pan3.10634
Uncontrolled keywords: Bushmeat, Central Africa, pangolin, human–nature relationships, consumer research, Zoonoses
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Funders: UK Research and Innovation (
University of Kent (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2024 10:56 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2024 08:28 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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