MYTHS, TABOOS AND BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION: THE CASE OF HUNTERS IN A RURAL COMMUNITY IN GHANAPatience A. Emieaboe, Kennedy Emmanuel Ahorsu and Francis Gbogbo
Reported in this paper are the results of interviews conducted with 35 hunters in the Akposo Tradionional area in the Volta Region of Ghana on animal myths and taboos of the people of Akposo and the awareness of the hunters on Ghana Wildlife Regulations. The taboos and myths were analysed for their significance to biodiversity conservation in the area. Approximately 94.3% and 97.1% of the hunters respectively were not aware of the close season and license requirement for hunting, contrary to high levels of awareness and compliance with many of the myths and taboos. In spite of the popularity of the myths and taboos they appeared to have played minimal role in the protection and conservation of biodiversity in the area because they either misdirect attention from real conservation problems or have a ritual as a remedy for the violation which serve as an antidote against the intrigue and fascination associated with the beliefs. Rather than integration of the myths and taboos into biodiversity management, there is the need for resource managers in the area to focus on education of the hunters and enforcement of the Wildlife Conservation Regulation to achieve set targets for species protection and conservation.
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