[en] Community-managed zones of hunting interest ; Cameroon ; Hunting management ; Logging
[en] In central Africa, commercial poaching and local village hunting are still two major issues that logging companies must address through the implementation of effective management plans in order to certify their concessions. However, current problems in developing suitable hunting management schemes for dense tropical forests arise from (1) the difficulty associated with setting quotas which take into account indiscriminate local hunting practices (e.g. snare trapping) and the ill-defined modes of resource appropriation by local populations, (2) the difficulty associated with evaluating the effect of illegal hunting, i.e. poaching, and (3) the relative complexity of the main available model. To overcome this, we propose to develop alternative management models where village hunting is planned along the same lines as existing logging operation models, through the implementation of a system of spatio-temporal rotation of hunting areas. In practice, the logging concession, initially divided into annual logging areas, is divided into similar annual hunting areas (AHAs), which are opened to hunting during the year preceding the logging operations. A depletion of the wildlife stock is expected within the annually opened hunting areas, but the model assumes a progressive re-colonization of the depleted AHA in subsequent years from neighbouring ones. In this paper, an empirical model of such a controlled hunting system employing spatio-temporal rotation of hunting areas is tested within a Forestry Management Unit (FMU) covering 47,585 ha in the Dja region, in south-east Cameroon. The model, based on large forest areas, seems particularly well adapted to Cameroon’s dense forests because it fits within the existing legal framework of Community-Managed Zones of Hunting Interest (CMZHI) and is aligned with current logging concession operations. Preliminary results suggest that sustainable hunting can be achieved in the FMU, provided a management scheme of AHAs is strictly enforced through effective stakeholder commitment.