Annual Ritual Hunts do have a purpose. I echo Jennie's views in this case. it is a common scenario in India where urban conservationists hold the rural folks responsible for conservation disasters. My own research experience in the eastern part of India (Odisha) for the past 10 years show that the annual ritual hunt practiced there was sustainable until 'outsiders' creeped in. The ARH as I have seen, is a method to trim down the herbivore population in the ecosystem so as to protect agriculture.
I am worried of the rising trend of accusing communities of slaughtering biodiversity without even a premilinary study ( apologies for this assumption). I suggest that there should be a thorough study from an ethno-ecological as well as cultural anthropological perspective before banning the practice.
When India enacted the milestone Forest Rights Act that (At Last!) granted land rights to India's original inhabitants- the Adivasis (Tribal people), most of the major conservation NGOs lobbied against it, citing conservation reasons. Strangely, forests in India can be seen only in geographical areas inhabited by the same Adivasis.
Merlin Franco, F
--- On Fri, 23/11/12, Santiago Zuluaga <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: