Database App of Wildlife Consumed in the Hilly and Mountainous Areas in Central Laos

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Laos, a landlocked nation in Southeast Asia, has a tropical monsoon climate and abundant forest resources. Wild animals and plants have long been used in Laos as food and source of livelihood. In particular, wild animals are a valuable source of protein for people in the rural areas. In 2007, the Lao government enacted the "Wildlife and Aquatic Law" to protect rare wildlife, and is taking measures to ensure wildlife conservation. However, rural residents continue to collect wildlife daily. One of the reasons for the continuation of such activities is that the rural people do not have access to information about the wildlife prohibited by law for collection. In addition, as a multi-ethnic country, the people often use different names for the same wild animal depending on their ethnicity and region. Furthermore, there are no available references such as books with illustrations of wild animals that people in the rural areas can easily access and understand. In recent years, zoonotic diseases such as SARS and COVID-19 have become a problem. Therefore, it is important to clarify the actual status of wildlife use by rural residents for public health in developing countries.

This database has been compiled by researchers at the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) based on data collected from dietary surveys and non-timber forest product surveys conducted in agricultural and mountain villages in central Laos. The database was created using Progressive Web Application (PWA)* that can be viewed on PCs and even smartphones which are now widely used in rural areas.

We hope that the dissemination of this database will improve the public health of rural residents, facilitate conservation and sustainable use of wildlife, and serve as a resource for future wildlife research. This latest version is still a work in progress and requires a lot of improvement. We would sincerely appreciate any advice and information, especially about the accuracy of the names in local language and usage of wildlife described in this database.

Link of Lao Bushmeat

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* Once a PWA is downloaded to a smartphone, the user can refer to the illustrated book even in areas where there is no internet environment. PWA is also a next-generation technology that can be easily learned to operate due to its low learning cost. For this reason, this database is currently managed and operated by the Forestry Research Center (FRC) affiliated with NAFRI.

This research was conducted under a JIRCAS project and partially supported by the JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 17K00706.