View Full Version : Monal Crest Hunting

Abhishek Jamalabad
08-05-2014, 03:51 PM
Hunting of the Himalayan Monal has been banned in the state of Himachal Pradesh since 1982, prior to which it faced considerable pressure.
However illegal hunts still do happen, the "prize" being the crest of the male- seen here adorning the traditional cap of a local.

Roopak Gangadharan
12-05-2014, 06:28 PM
Important message Abhishek. It is not easy to erase the cultural memory and pride of tribal societies and these representations have wreaked havoc on some unfortunate species most of which are endangered. Although it has come down greatly due to the good work by some NGOs, it is still a delicate subject and needs to delt as such. Strict enforcement on one hand along with sustained awareness drives will certainly help. While on the subject I recollect what a local who used to regularly trap porcupines in my native village told me and a friend after we gave him a lecture on protecting local wildlife. He said there are too many of them here and they keep raiding gardens, when i added that the species is on the decline in many areas due to habitat loss and poaching in other states, he asked how will it help having too many of them in one place as they are anyway not going to move to those areas which are far away to better their numbers there... he was right porcupines are mostly localised and donot move great distances which brings one to the subject of creating wildlife corridors. Talking about wildlife corridors we living in a town, using highways and railways much more often than him had not right to lecture him. I used the only other logic to win the argument, the next time we found evidence of trapping a compliant would go the DFO with his name. I dont think he has completely stopped but it did work. His logic however was sound enough to drive in a lot of introspection on what we feel is right and wrong when it comes to conservation and coexistence.

Abhishek Jamalabad
12-05-2014, 10:00 PM
Agree completely with you... Although stricter law enforcement is part of the solution, that alone is not going to save a species. Many parts where traditional hunting by tribals still takes place also happen to be regions where adequate monitoring is next to impossible for forest staff and volunteers alone (such as the Himalayas, North-east etc).The most effective way to solve the problem is to raise awareness among the people directly involved in the hunting and utilisation of the species. One such success story that I have seen first hand is the reformation of the Nyishi tribe of western Arunachal Pradesh that until recently used to hunt hornbills for ornamental use.

Sabyasachi Patra
27-05-2014, 05:06 PM
I agree that these things are still happening.

Whom do we blame? We survive on power from hydroelectricity projects that have displaced many people. We work in factories that have displaced people. (atleast I have worked at one point of time). We demand good roads so that we can drive down from one town to another faster. We never mind that many people lose their livelihood as their lands are taken over. We do ride roughshod on other peoples dreams.

Two days back I was arguing with someone whose resort is in the forest and elephants at times come close. He feels that in Kerala the elephant population has increased and has become a menace. People don't buy into the argument that it is we who have ventured into the forests to set up plantations, farm houses, resorts etc and are in the traditional elephant corridors. With our proclivity to construct dams on rivers, the elephants are often forced to do some course corrections and at times come in contact with people. The present day protected networks have been designed in such a manner, ofcourse inadvertently, that the majority of the elephant migration corridors fall outside it. Despite the launch of the elephant taskforce report with much fanfare, the Government didn't accept the major reccomendations and there has been no money to buy back the land that could have protected the elephant corridors.

It is important to explain things to people. There are some superstitions which ensure that certain species are mercilessly hunted. If a tiger's claw is seen as a lucky charm and results in the tiger being hunted, then how can it be a lucky charm? There was a time when it was a matter of pride to hunt down a species by displaying tremendous skills. These days with the advent of superior weapons, it doesn't need any skill. Even a kid can pump bullets into a large animal and bring it down. Where is the manhood involved?