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Wildlife access critical to children's health
Date:11/22/2011

For the first time, researchers have uncovered a powerful connection between loss of access to wildlife and micronutrient deficiencies in children, according to a recently published study by the University of California-Berkeley, Harvard Center for the Environment and Harvard School of Public Health, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and others.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world rely on marine and terrestrial wildlife -- both of which have been declining in terms of diversity and abundance around the world -- as a primary source of food. The new study addresses what has been less understood: how such reductions in wildlife populations impact the health and livelihoods of subsistence communities who depend on them.

The study --titled "Benefits of Wildlife Consumption to Child Nutrition in a Biodiversity Hotspot" -- appears this week in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors of the study include: Christopher D. Golden of Harvard University's Center for the Environment, Lia C. H. Fernald, Justin S. Brashares, and Claire Kremen of the University of California at Berkeley, and B. J. Rodolph Rasolofoniaina, a local member of Golden's research team in Madagascar. Golden, Brashares, Kremen and Rasolofoniaina have all been long-time research associates of Wildlife Conservation Society.

It is well-known that in parts of the world where common foods are not fortified and people do not receive supplements, animal-source foods not only offer protein, fats and calories but also provide critical micronutrients such as iron, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B-12 (among others) that cannot be obtained in sufficient quantities from non-meat sources. This study measures the role of wildlife consumption in human nutritional outcomes in an impoverished community in the rainforests of the Makira Protected Area, Madagascar.

Specifically, investigators found that losing ac
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Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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