Wild Resource Use in the Ecuadorian Amazon: A Multi-Ethnic and Longitudinal Approach

Clark Gray, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Matthew Bozigar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Richard Bilsborrow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The forest-dwelling Amerindian populations of the Amazon Basin are highly dependent on wild resources harvested though hunting, fishing and forest product collection. These activities have been characterized as both core components of threatened cultures and as major threats to biodiverse ecosystems, but population-level data that would allow the evaluation of these claims has rarely been available. We use data from a unique longitudinal survey of indigenous households in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon, encompassing 480 households from five ethnicities over an 11-year period. Descriptive analyses reveal that participation in wild resource use is high but declining over time across multiple activities and ethnic groups. Multilevel models of participation additionally reveal that ethnicity as well as demographic, livelihood and contextual characteristics are significant predictors of resource use, but that these factors cannot account for declining participation, suggesting that region-wide processes of market integration are driving this trend.

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Presented in Session 189: Applications of Methods and Measurement in Population and Environment Research in Low and Middle Income Countries