Stop the Hunting of Wildlife in India

by Wildlife Trust of India
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Stop the Hunting of Wildlife in India
Stop the Hunting of Wildlife in India
Stop the Hunting of Wildlife in India
Stop the Hunting of Wildlife in India
Stop the Hunting of Wildlife in India

Project Report | Dec 17, 2023
Curbing Ritual Hunts: West Bengal's Conservation Wins

By Monica Verma | Project Leader

Hunting Survey
Hunting Survey

Greetings from Wildlife Trust of India!

Ritualistic hunting, an annual tradition in West Bengal spanning March to May, was once a prevalent practice, particularly in districts like Howrah, East Medinipur, West Medinipur, Jhagram, Bankura, and Purulia. However, recent efforts, fueled by the generous support of individual donors like you, have brought about a significant reduction in these activities, showcasing a positive impact on wildlife conservation. In addition to expressing our deep gratitude to our donors, it is essential to recognize the noteworthy contributions of the Forest Department as well as the RAP proponents supported by Wildlife Trust of India (WTI).

A comprehensive investigative survey, conducted in the Birbhum district, shed light on the intricacies of ritualistic hunts—revealing details on hunting practices, weapons employed, targeted animals, and the purposes for which the animals were hunted. Distinctive findings point to a noteworthy decline in the popularity of these hunts. The major hunt, occurring on the last day of the Santali festival celebrated around this time of the year, witnessed a decrease in participation.

Crucially, interviews conducted in Bankura district revealed a substantial decrease in ritualistic hunts, contrasting with the historical prevalence of large-scale gatherings, sometimes reaching up to 10,000 participants. This positive shift can be attributed to stringent regulations implemented by the Forest Department and the instrumental role played by WTI, which now jointly contributes to controlling the volume of hunts and dictating which animals can be targeted. The impact is clear: a decline in the once-common hunting practices.

In Bankura's forests, where wild boar, hare, jungle fowl, civets, and mongooses were previously targeted, the Forest Department's prohibition on hunting deer and peafowl has played a key role in protecting these species.

The decrease in ritualistic hunting marks a dual triumph, benefiting both wildlife preservation and the communities engaged in hunting. This decline is linked to time constraints and heightened agricultural activities, signifying a shift in priorities within the hunting community. In Bankura's forests, the Forest Department's prohibition on hunting specific animals has shielded wildlife and prompted an evolution in hunting practices. The reduction in ritualistic hunts stems from factors like forest fragmentation, heightened elephant movement, and active discouragement by the Forest Department. This aids wildlife preservation and denotes positive transformations within the practices of the hunting communities.

Notably, these changes are not limited to Bankura alone; the ripple effect extends to neighboring districts such as Medinipur. By curbing these practices, the focus has shifted from large-scale hunts to a more sustainable, responsible, and regulated approach, ultimately benefiting both wildlife preservation and the communities involved.

This success story is a testament to the collective impact that can be achieved through partnerships between government bodies, WTI-supported RAP proponents, and the generosity of individual donors like you. It is your unwavering support that has fueled this positive transformation. Your commitment to wildlife conservation has made a tangible difference, and we extend our heartfelt thanks for being an integral part of this impactful journey. Together, we celebrate the strides made in fostering a harmonious coexistence between human activities and the preservation of West Bengal's diverse ecosystems.

Warm regards,

Team WTI

Hunting Survey
Hunting Survey
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Organization Information

Wildlife Trust of India

Location: Noida, Uttar Pradesh - India
Project Leader:
Samruddhi Kothari
Assistant Manager
Noida , Uttar Pradesh India

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