Why hunt: the socio-ecological drivers and ecological consequences of bat hunting in an Afrotropical system

dc.contributor.committeeChairKingston, Tigga
dc.contributor.committeeMemberMcIntyre, Nancy
dc.contributor.committeeMemberPhilips, Caleb
dc.contributor.committeeMemberGrisham, Blake
dc.contributor.committeeMemberWagner, Brandon
dc.creatorObitte, Benneth
dc.date.accessioned2024-01-12T18:03:29Z
dc.date.available2024-01-12T18:03:29Z
dc.date.issued2023-12
dc.description.abstractAnthropogenic activities continue to imperil species globally, with overexploitation as a leading cause of extinction. The need for evidence-based conservation interventions is increasingly urgent as human disturbance pushes species toward extinction across the tropics. To mitigate these impacts, it is critical to understand the socio-ecological drivers and their specific effects. Hunting of cave-dwelling Egyptian fruit bats in southern Nigeria exemplifies these complex dynamics. This dissertation takes an interdisciplinary approach to diagnosing the complex socio-ecological dynamics surrounding bat hunting and consumption in southern Nigeria. It integrates perspectives from ecology, conservation, and behavioral science to provide a systems analysis. Chapter 1 introduces the intense hunting of the cave-dwelling Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) in southeast Nigeria, highlighting conservation concerns. Chapter 2 quantifies hunting pressure across caves and models the drivers of cave use. Findings show hunting pressure alters cave bat distributions, with implications for populations and zoonotic spillover risks. A hunting threshold is identified beyond which bats abandon caves. Chapter 3 reveals a bat-hunting apprenticeship system influencing community norms and self-efficacy of hunters, suggesting that economic motivations alone do not fully explain hunting. Social learning and leader opinions strongly shape participation. Chapter 4 applies the Theory of Planned Behavior to identify key drivers of bat meat consumption intentions. Taste preferences and community leaders' influence most strongly predict intentions. Overall, this dissertation provides a model for diagnosing multifaceted exploitation dynamics across taxa. By highlighting the sociocultural dimensions of hunting practices, this work contributes to a nuanced understanding of conservation challenges and calls for an integrated approach to wildlife management in Afrotropical systems.
dc.description.abstractEmbargo status: Restricted until 01/2027. To request the author grant access, click on the PDF link to the left.
dc.format.mimetypeApplication/pdf
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/2346/97464
dc.language.isoen
dc.rights.availabilityRestricted until 01/2027.
dc.subjecthunting apparatus
dc.subjectRousettus aegyptiacus
dc.subjectBat hunting
dc.subjectApprenticeship
dc.subjectStructural Equation Model
dc.subjectOne Health
dc.subjectcave roost
dc.subjectBat conservation
dc.titleWhy hunt: the socio-ecological drivers and ecological consequences of bat hunting in an Afrotropical system
dc.typeDissertation
thesis.degree.departmentBiological Sciences
thesis.degree.disciplineBiology
thesis.degree.grantorTexas Tech University
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy

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