Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Michael Stokes (Director), Dr. Doug McElroy, Dr. Jeffrey Marcus

Degree Program

Department of Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science


The illegal bushmeat harvest has been identified as a reason for declining wildlife populations throughout much of Africa. For many years the trade was thought to exist primarily in Western Africa. The illegal use of bushmeat in Eastern Africa, including Kenya, went undocumented and unstudied. In 2004, the Born Free Foundation published a study which claimed illegal sale of wild game was substantial in butcheries throughout Nairobi, Kenya. In an effort to determine other markets of the commercial trade, the goal of this study was to analyze local restaurants in Voi, Kenya for illegal bushmeat sale. The town of Voi was selected due to recent published reports in the popular press, its proximity to Tsavo National Park, and its access to a major highway. Samples were collected and analyzed using mDNA sequencing analysis of the cytochrome B gene. None of the collected samples were identified as illegal game meat. The restaurants in Voi, Kenya were not a commercial outlet for illegal bushmeat trading in the local economy during the period of this study. The results from this study provide valuable baseline data which can be used in future research to help determine possible vectors of the bushmeat trade.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Biology | Laboratory and Basic Science Research