Participatory research documented the hunting yields of 59 households in five neighboring indigenous villages in western Panama. These households captured 2,580 kg of game over 8 months, with 47% of the harvest coming from agricultural areas. The quantity of game captured in anthropogenic habitats is influenced by the hunting strategies employed. Only 25% of game captured during hunting trips was captured in agricultural areas, as opposed to 93% while "awaiting" and 65% using traps. Reliance on different strategies is in turn dependent on age, gender, and access to firearms. I argue that garden hunting is not a response to game depletion, but rather a productive activity that is complementary to broader cultural and economic patterns, and that simultaneously protects crops from animal predation. The creation of heterogeneous habitat mosaics through shifting cultivation has played a key role in the relationship between people and wildlife in the humid neotropics, leading to adjustments in both animal foraging patterns and indigenous hunting practices.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Buglé, Cultural landscapes, Indigenous hunting, Neotropical wildlife, Panama, Shifting cultivation
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10745-005-5157-Y
Journal Human Ecology
Citation
Smith, D. (2005). Garden game: Shifting cultivation, indigenous hunting and wildlife ecology in western Panama. Human Ecology (Vol. 33, pp. 505–537). doi:10.1007/s10745-005-5157-Y