Hunting is a serious threat to Indian wildlife. We used semi-structured interviews to assess hunting practices, cultural contexts and village-level governance within a Buddhist Indo-Tibetan tribe in the biologically rich region of Arunachal Pradesh. A large majority (96%) of the 50 respondents preferred wild meat over domestic meat, and most hunted for recreation. Species such as the Asian elephant Elephas maximus are still considered taboo to hunters but other species that were once taboo (such as gaur Bos gaurus) are now hunted. A month-long ban was previously instituted to prohibit tribal hunting during the wildlife breeding season each year but this has now decreased to 16-days duration. A multi-level governance framework is needed to resolve a mismatch between national policy in India and grass-roots governance for managing wildlife hunting.
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