The potential for sustainable harvests by traditional Wana hunters in Morowali nature reserve, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia Academic Article uri icon


  • Conflicts arise between subsistence hunters and those who wish to conserve the animals they hunt. Solutions require measures of sustainability. Data are presented on the sustainability for the Wana hunters living in the highlands of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Pigs (Sus celebensis) and dwarf buffalo (Bubalus spp.) account for 58 percent and 40 percent of the large game harvest by weight. Primates (Macaca tonkeana) are occasionally killed. Data suggest pig hunting is sustainable, primates may have been overhunted in the past, and that dwarf buffalo are vulnerable. Using GPS, the area encompassing all of fields, traps, and house locations for the sample of 153 Wana was measured to be only 18.1 km2. To sustain their current harvest of pigs, however, the Wana need access to at least 290km2 of catchment. Their harvest of 0.30 pigs per person per year can be sustained if the Wana population density is no greater than 0.53 persons per km2. Pigs are the most sustainable of the Wana's prey options. Removing primates from the Wana's diet would have a negligible nutritional effect. Persuading Wana hunters not to pursue dwarf buffalo will be the most difficult challenge for Morowali's managers.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Alvard, M. S.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Alvard, MS

publication date

  • December 2000