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Bhupathy S.,Salim Ali Center for Ornithology Natural History | Kumar S.R.,Salim Ali Center for Ornithology Natural History | Thirumalainathan P.,Salim Ali Center for Ornithology Natural History | Paramanandham J.,Salim Ali Center for Ornithology Natural History | Lemba C.,Near Chang Baptist
Tropical Conservation Science

With growing human population, increased accessibility to remote forests and adoption of modern tools, hunting has become a severe global problem, particularly in Nagaland, a Northeast Indian state. While Indian wildlife laws prohibit hunting of virtually all large wild animals, in several parts of North-eastern parts of India that are dominated by indigenous tribal communities, these laws have largely been ineffective due to cultural traditions of hunting for meat, perceived medicinal and ritual value, and the community ownership of the forests. We report the quantity of wild animals sold at Tuensang town of Nagaland, based on weekly samples drawn from May 2009 to April 2010. Interviews were held with vendors on the availability of wild animals in forests belonging to them and methods used for hunting. The tribes of Chang, Yimchunger, Khiemungan, and Sangtam are involved in collection/ hunting and selling of animals in Tuensang. In addition to molluscs and amphibians, 1,870 birds (35 species) and 512 mammals (8 species) were found in the samples. We estimated that annually 13,067 birds and 3,567 mammals were sold in Tuensang market alone, which fetched about Indian Rupees 18.5 lakhs/ year. Temporal variation was observed with respect to various taxa sold; molluscs: almost all through the year; amphibians: June-August; and birds and mammals restricted to October-February. We suggest monitoring of all major markets of Nagaland to examine trends in exploitation of wild animals. However, considering the traditional dependency of people on wild resources, as well as their cultural sentiments and livelihoods, any interventions for wildlife conservation should have the involvement and support of local inhabitants. © Subramanian Bhupathy, Selvaraj Ramesh Kumar, Palanisamy Thirumalainathan, Joothi Paramanandham, and Chang Lemba. Source

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