Wildlife hunting practices of the Santal and Oraon communities in Rajshahi, Bangladesh

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Azizul Islam Barkat
Fahmida Tasnim Liza
Sumaiya Akter
Ashikur Rahman Shome
Md. Fazle Rabbe


Humans have been depending on wild animals from ancient times for food, medicine, economy, tools, and others. Santal and Oraon are two of the indigenous communities present in the Rajshahi district of Bangladesh. They practice wildlife hunting as part of their traditions. We investigated the wildlife hunting practice of these indigenous communities using a closed-ended questionnaire survey.  We interviewed 100 households of both communities from four villages. The study indicated that 76% of respondents hunted (88% Santal and 67% Oraon); and they usually hunt mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, of which the bird is the most preferred (73%) and snake the least (1%). The response of hunting among the two communities significantly differed for tortoise, bird, rabbit, mongoose, jackal, and the Jungle Cat. Eighteen sets of animal taxa were significantly correlated indicating that households exercised preferences in terms of prey. The result also showed that only 14% of Santal and 7% of Oraon were familiar with the Bangladesh Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act, 2012.  Although the impact of wildlife hunting of these indigenous groups is still ambiguous, the present study provides a preliminary database of hunting practices of these communities for future conservation management.

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