We develop an agent-based model of foraging behavior based on ecological parameters of the environment and prey characteristics measured in the Mbaracayu Reserve Paraguay. We then compare estimated foraging behavior from our model to the ethnographically observed behavior of Ache hunter-gatherers who inhabit the region and show a close match for daily harvest rates, time allocation, and species composition of prey. The model allows us to explore the implications of social living, cooperative hunting, variation in group size and mobility, under Ache-like ecological conditions. Simulations show that social living decreases daily risk of no food, but cooperative hunting has only a modest effect on mean harvest rates. Analysis demonstrates that bands should contain 7-8 hunters who move nearly every day in order to achieve the best combination of average harvest rates and low probability of no meat in camp.
- Agent-based modeling
- Optimal foraging theory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis