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GIS monitors unsustainable trade in wildlife for meat

The rapidly expanding and unsustainable trade in wildlife for meat in many parts of the world—including the United States—represents a threat to both biodiversity and the health and well-being of human, wildlife and livestock communities across the globe. It is a complex problem that demands international collaboration at the highest levels, including the United States of America, according to members of the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force (BCTF). Founded in 1999, the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force is a consortium of conservation organizations and scientists dedicated to the conservation of wildlife populations threatened by unsustainable hunting of wildlife for sale as meat.

To address gaps in information within the general bushmeat trade issues and for action priority identification, BCTF, in partnership with the World Resources Institute (WRI), has created a unique information sharing mechanism, the Bushmeat Information Management and Analysis Project (IMAP). This web-based information system which incorporates a GIS enables field experts to contribute timely information with regard to projects and information from the ground which is then integrated into a massive layered database of information including peer-reviewed articles, project locations, development projects, roads, population data, and species distribution maps. This information is made available to key decision makers, conservation and development professionals, communities, media, and the general public.