By Andrew Tobiason
To support a better understanding of the bushmeat crisis in Central Africa, distribution data for 33 species of large mammals targeted or otherwise affected by the bushmeat trade have been added to the Bushmeat IMAP's Central Africa Bushmeat Mapserver. This is the first time that suitable habitat ranges for species in the African Mammals Databank - monkeys, antelope, apes, carnivores, hippos and more - have been made available in an interactive map on the Internet. The mapserver allows users to overlay any number of species ranges with other land-use features, such as roads, parks and logging concessions, and presents a fast visual overview of the threats and conservation opportunities facing each species. For each species, BCTF provides a Species Information Page, a quick reference for (1) taxonomic information, (2) Africa-wide distribution, (3) threat assessment by IUCN (IUCN 2004) and CITES (UNEP-WCMC 2005), and (4) a link to the source data (African Mammals Databank (IEA 1999)). Other relevant information on each species is also provided, including links to additional information, a link to a BCTF Bushmeat Fact Sheet if available, links to AZA taxon advisory group pages, and links to auto-generated searches of the BCTF bushmeat research archive and BCTF bushmeat projects database. In addition to the 33 species with distribution data on the interactive Mapserver, there is also an information page for African elephants, in the same format as other pages but with source data from the African Elephant Database (AESR 2002). BCTF hopes to include elephant data in the next iteration of the Bushmeat IMAP, using AESR range data and/or CITES MIKE research site information.