Bushmeat is reported to be an important source of animal protein for people’s diet and income to rural communities around protected areas. Data for bushmeat preferences among local people bordering Serengeti National Park, Northern Tanzania, were collected through various techniques, including a key informant survey, group discussions, meat taste experiments and questionnaires. Multiple responses were used to test for preferences on different processing methods of sundried bushmeat and reasons for the preference. Independent variables as chewability, smell, taste and appearance were used to test what factors that might influence species preference of sundried bushmeat. The results of this study indicate that sundried bushmeat was most frequently preferred by respondents, followed by boiled and the least preferred meat was smoked bushmeat. Beef was the most preferred sundried meat, followed by sundried impala, and then sundried wildebeest meat. Sundried zebra meat was least preferred among all four of tested meat samples. The distance of the village (in km) from SNP and type of sample specimen tested contributed statistically significantly to explain the variation in bushmeat preferences. We recommend further studies on quality analysis on different processed meat (fresh boiled, sundried and smoked) to check for different nutrients. Finally, based on our results on preference on individual species of sundried meat, sundried beef meat was mostly preferred; therefore we do recommend that communities around protected areas who are livestock keepers should be encouraged to process sundried beef meat during good environmental conditions which can be used as reserve in times of food shortage and periods of famine.
Key words: Sun-dried bushmeat, Serengeti ecosystem, preference rank, processing methods.
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