Hunting strategies used in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil
1 Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Estadual da Paraíba, Av. das Baraúnas, 351/Campus Universitário, Bodocongó, 58109-753, Campina Grande, Paraíba, Brasil
2 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas (Zoologia), Laboratório e Coleção de Herpetologia, Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, 58051-900, João Pessoa, PB, Brasil
3 Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, 58051-900 João Pessoa, PB, Brasil
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2009, 5:12 doi:10.1186/1746-4269-5-12Published: 22 April 2009
Hunting for wild animals is stimulated by the many different human uses of faunal resources, and these animals constitute important subsistence items in local communities in the Caatinga region. In order to gain access to these resources, hunters have developed a series of techniques and strategies that are described in the present work. The principal hunting techniques encountered were: waiting, especially directed towards hunting diurnal birds; calling ("arremedo"), a technique in which the hunters imitate the animal's call to attract it to close range; hunting with dogs, a technique mostly used for capturing mammals; tracking, a technique used by only a few hunters who can recognize and follow animal tracks; and "facheado", in which the hunters go out at night with lanterns to catch birds in their nests. Additionally, many animal species are captured using mechanical traps. The types of traps used by the interviewees were: dead-fall traps ("quixó"), iron-jaw snap traps ("arataca"), wooden cages with bait ("arapuca"), iron-cage traps ("gaiola'), "visgo", multi-compartment bird cages ("alçapão"), buried ground traps with pivoted tops ("fojo"), and nooses and cages for carnivorous. The choice of which technique to use depends on the habits of the species being hunted, indicating that the hunters possess a wide knowledge of the biology of these animals. From a conservation perspective, active hunting techniques (waiting, imitation, hunting with dogs, and "facheado") have the greatest impact on the local fauna. The use of firearm and dogs brought greater efficiency to hunting activities. Additional studies concerning these hunting activities will be useful to contribute to proposals for management plans regulating hunting in the region – with the objective of attaining sustainable use of faunal resources of great importance to the local human communities.