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The Dekuana* people traditionally have lived in an area of about 2,000,000. Due to their exposure to a rapid changing society, their ways of life have changed and much of their wildlife resources are rapidly decreasing.  The World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE, has been advising the Dekuana people on how to adapt to this changing world.

As part of this long-term commitment, WICE is working together with the Indigenous Peoples support group in Venezuela, "Otro Futuro" in helping the Dekuana in developing a sustainable hunting routine. Traditionally, the Dekuana hunt a variety of animals for their consumption, like peccaries, several species of deer, the Amazon Tapir, capybaras, agoutis, etc. Under new self-imposed hunting regulations, these animals can continue to be an important component in their diets. They are also instituting areas with no hunting at all. As part of this programme, the Dekuana have developed a self-regulatory hunting scheme with their own rangers. 

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Common mammals traditionally hunted by the Dekuana for their protein supply: Capybara, Agouti, White Tail Deer, Brocket Deer, Tapir and Peccary.

On their own request, a part of the Dekuana territory has been declared national park by the Venezuelan Government: the Duida-Marawuaka National Park.  It is also very interesting that their territory borders on the Casiquiare River, which originates in the Orinoco and drains into the Amazon River, thus connecting these two great watersheds. Over time, the Dekuana hope to develop a market for ecotourism in their territory, showing to visitors how they manage their wildlife, arranging hikes into the national park and excursions to the split-off of the Casiquiare River.

This sustainable hunting programme is very unique among indigenous people, and we hope that over time, the Dekuana can teach their methods to other indigenous peoples. 

The Adopt A Ranger programme in Venezuela will be very unique, as it helps finance a self-regulatory system of indigenous rangers.

* There are two names in the language for these people: Dekuana and Yekuana. These names are used interchangeable. For practical use we have used Dekuana, but both names are equally common.


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