Roach, J. (2005, June 3). African Pygmy Hunt Threatened by Logging, Animal Trade. National Geographic News. [Online]. Available: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/06/0603_050603_bayaka.html [2008. May 29].
pygmy; logging; hunting; trade; Bayaka; Central African Republic; government; resources; bushmeat; reserve; parks; World Wildlife Fund; sustainable; management
Rampant logging and the illegal trade in forest animals is slowly eroding the traditional lifestyle of the Bayaka Pygmies in the Central African Republic, according to researchers.
The Bayaka are a seminomadic people who traditionally survive by hunting and gathering the animals and plants of the rain forest. Among their more revered traditions are the net hunt and its associated musical ceremony (see sidebar).
The net hunt traditionally secured enough meat to feed an entire camp, but decades of logging and a subsequent increase in illegal hunting for the bush-meat trade is emptying the forest of its resources, according to Richard Carroll, the director of World Wildlife Fund's Africa program. (See bush-meat photo galleries and news.)
"This is a major issue for people like the Bayaka," Carroll said. "When those resources are depleted, they don't have an alternative source [of food]. They don't have a place to go back to. No Social Security will kick in and give them meals...