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dc.contributor.authorJones, Julia P G
dc.description.abstractMadagascar’s freshwater crayfish, belonging to the endemic genus Astacoides, are harvested throughout their range in the eastern highlands of the country. They provide an important source of protein and revenue to local communities but there is concern that the harvest may be unsustainable. In this thesis I assess the sustainability of crayfish harvesting in and around Ranomafana National Park, an area well known for its reliance on crayfish harvesting. Six taxa (belonging to four described species) are found in the Ranomafana area. Most families in villages with access to forest carry out some harvesting for subsistence use. Due to variation in local taboos (fady) and in access to forest, commercial crayfish harvesting is very important in only three of the 27 villages I visited. However, in these villages crayfish revenue is very important, particularly to poorer households. One species, Astacoides granulimanus, dominates the harvest: more than 95% of crayfish caught in the harvesting village of Vohiparara are of this species. I used a mark-and-recapture study involving more than 26,000 A. granulimanus across 79 sites under a range of harvesting intensities to estimate demographic parameters (growth, fecundity and survival) and investigate density-dependent control of growth and fecundity. No evidence for density-dependent control of growth was found, but the density of large crayfish negatively influenced the proportion of females of a given size which reproduced. I investigated the sustainability of the harvest of A. granulimanus using two approaches: I) comparing population structure and density under varying harvesting intensity and II) using population models to investigate the forest area necessary to provide the observed annual harvest from one harvesting village and comparing that with the area available. The conclusions are encouraging as they suggest that the A. granulimanus harvest in the Ranomafana area may be sustainable under current conditions. Preliminary work suggests habitat loss may be a more immediate threat, so scarce conservation resources should perhaps be concentrated on reducing habitat loss rather than enforcing a ban on harvesting.
dc.rightsAttribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
dc.subjectpopulation ecology
dc.subjectmatrix models
dc.subjectmark and recapture
dc.titleThe sustainability of crayfish harvesting in Madagascar
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cambridge
dc.contributor.orcidJones, Julia P G [0000-0002-5199-3335]
dc.publisher.collegeSt Johns
dc.type.qualificationtitlePhD Zoology
cam.supervisorBalmford, Andrew

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Except where otherwise noted, this item's licence is described as Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)