Illegal harvesting of bush meat is a major cause for decline of wildlife populations in Kenya. Bushmeat harvesting had for a long time been downplayed and ignored, being thought to be a subsistence activity until it dawned on conservationist that bushmeat was a thriving trade responsible for depleting large wildlife populations from many years of unsustainable bushmeat harvesting.
In the Tsavo Conservation Area, bushmeat is a serious problem within and outside protected areas. Bush meat extraction is fueled by poverty, unemployment, prolonged drought, increasing human population, uncontrolled access to forest wildlife facilitated by logging and mining activities, deficient capacity on the part of law enforcement entities to control bushmeat particularly, sophistication of hunting techniques, lack of capital or infrastructure for meat production, changes in the cultural environment and discarding of social taboos on traditional hunting, among other factors.
Reducing the problem of illegal bushmeat utilization requires multifaceted approaches that include understanding bushmeat dynamics, intensifying patrols, legal and policy framework, education and alternative livelihoods to professional trade in bushmeat.
Trust. In 2002, Amara donated a pickup to help get a new desnaring team up and running in Tsavo. Amara traveled with the team and saw firsthand how hard the work is, and how many snares are set on a continued basis. Amara has also been supporting the capacity of community scouts to improve bushmeat patrols; working with local community members to develop alternative livelihoods and carrying out bushmeat sensitization meetings.