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Wildlife hunting by indigenous tribes: a case study from Arunachal Pradesh, north-east India

  • Ambika Aiyadurai (a1), Navinder J. Singh (a1) and E. J. Milner-Gulland (a1)

Abstract

Hunting is a serious threat to wildlife worldwide. The rainforest-rich Arunachal Pradesh state of India, a biodiversity hotspot, is an area severely affected by indigenous hunting. The state has several indigenous tribes who hunt for food, trade, culture and leisure. Using semi-structured interviews and questionnaires we surveyed 184 individuals in 51 villages across four tribes for information on species hunted and hunting practices. A total of 33 mammalian species are reportedly hunted, of which only 11 were reported by hunters during formal interviews. The other 22 species were observed during casual visits, festivals and informal discussions. Of the species hunted 20 are Endangered, Vulnerable or Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. Villagers now travel longer distances to hunt than they did a decade ago, suggesting a decline in wildlife populations around villages. The extent of offtake of mammals was related to the altitude of the village and the use of guns. Villagers living at higher altitudes and with guns appeared to hunt more. We also documented the importance of ritualistic hunting by some tribes. Additional research is required to estimate offtake and consumption rates of wild meat. Increasing conservation awareness and community-based conservation projects may assist in controlling the severity and extent of this hunting problem.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Silwood Park, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7PY, UK. E-mail ucsa014@ucl.ac.uk

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Current address: Department of Anthropology, University College London, Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW, UK

Footnotes

References

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Wildlife hunting by indigenous tribes: a case study from Arunachal Pradesh, north-east India

  • Ambika Aiyadurai (a1), Navinder J. Singh (a1) and E. J. Milner-Gulland (a1)

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