Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'
When one is traveling in the Northeastern part of our country, a common sight is that of boys and men with catapult and guns on their way to their next hunt.
When one is traveling in the Northeastern part of our country, a common sight is that of boys and men with catapult and guns on the way to their next hunt. Hunting in the Northeast is largely influenced by cultural practices, rituals and (perceived) medicinal values. It has also become an activity just to kill time. However, the situation is changing; steadily, though slowly, thanks to access to education, employment, and intervention by NGOs at many places. There has been an increased awareness of the need to reconcile hunting with wildlife conservation.
Yet sadly, in the last few years I have noticed, during my travels across the Northeast, that the migrant population has taken up hunting, after becoming more or less permanent settlers in these parts. These people are brought here by agents to work as manual labour in various infrastructural projects as well as to work as servants in tribal households. In the process, they have picked up hunting skills from local tribals.
On a recent trip (Feb 2016) to Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary in the Lower Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh (between Mayodia Pass and Hunli), it pained all of us when the man in this picture boasted of having killed a couple of the Vulnerable Sclater’s Monal (a pheasant which we asked him to show in the birdguide).
There is an urgent need for a second-line conservation initiative, targeted at this segment of migrant labour, to help save the wild fauna of the region.