The use of wild animals – including endangered mammals – in traditional medicine

In an analysis of published research, researchers identified 565 mammal species used to use products in traditional medicine around the world, particularly in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Credit: Itamar Barbosa

In an analysis of published research, researchers identified 565 mammal species used to use products in traditional medicine around the world, particularly in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The analysis, which in Mammal Overview, also found that 155 of these mammal species are considered endangered (vulnerable, threatened or critically endangered), and a further 46 are almost endangered.

The findings suggest that overuse for medicinal use may be a clear source of threat to mammals.

‘Our study showed that an impressive wealth of mammalian species – 9% of the 6,399 known species – are used worldwide in traditional medical systems. We also emphasize that closely related species are used to treat similar diseases, ‘said lead author Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves, PhD, of the Universidade Estadual da Paraíba, Brazil. ‘The widespread use of mammals in traditional medicine (including endangered species) is proof of the importance of understanding such practices in the context of mammal conservation. Sanitary aspects of the use of wild mammals by humans, and their implications for public health, are also the most important aspects to consider. ”

Reference: “A Global Analysis of Ecological and Evolutionary Drives for the Use of Wild Mammals in Traditional Medicine” by Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves, Anna Karolina Martins Borges, Raynner Rilke Duarte Barboza, Wedson Medeiros Silva Souto, Thiago Gonçioves – Souza Provete and Ulysses Paulino Albuquerque, 8 December 2020, Mammal Overview.
DOI: 10.1111 / I have 12233

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