India is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and hosts 10 percent of the planet’s biodiversity hotspots. In spite of this, all the major habitat types face pressure from rapid anthropogenic factors, including deforestation, habitat loss and conversion, land-use change, mega construction projects and indiscriminate hunting. Parallel to the immense biodiversity is the high population of the country. Of the 1.3 billion population, over 200 million people live in forests and in fringe villages relying directly on forest resources for livelihood and nutritional needs. Thus, India has a dual challenge of biodiversity conservation and goals of human well-being, including food security. Among the threats, hunting is one of the primary threats to biodiversity conservation, but is also an important source of food, livelihood and culture for many indigenous communities. In this chapter, we attempt to unpack the multilayered complexity associated with hunting in the Northeast of India, through the ecological, social, political and epidemiological lens, and call for an interdisciplinary approach to tackling hunting to ensure biodiversity conservation and human well-being.
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