Protecting and keeping forests connected: Elephant corridors that allow India’s national heritage animal to survive – Karnataka

India has for thousands of years revered and worshipped all natural resources, flora and fauna. And the elephant has a special place in Indian mythology | Read the full article by Dia Mirza in the Times of India >>

We now live in an India that has 17% of the world’s population while occupying 2.61% of the world’s landmass, which we also share with 60% of the world’s Asian elephants, 65% of the world’s tigers, 100% of Asiatic lions and 85% of the world’s one horned rhino.

While all this is incredible, it’s also the reason why we’re fast losing natural habitat, disconnecting once uninterrupted forests, obstructing natural migratory routes of key species and disturbing an ecological balance that is key to our wellbeing. If we hope to have free flowing rivers, forests sequestering carbon and less severe impacts of climate change, we have to find a way to secure, protect and keep our forests connected.

The elephant is a perpetual nomad.  […]

Source: Keep elephant corridors open and allow India’s national heritage animal to survive, it’ll help the whole ecosystem
Date visited: 29 June 2019

The Deccan Herald, 15-1-2013

It’s a new year gift to nearly 1,000 elephants and other wild species who can now wander freely without any human interference through the Kollegal corridor in Karnataka.

This has been made possible by an NGO, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) supported by its partner – the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) which has purchased nearly 25 acre-Kollegal (Edayarhalli–Doddasampige) elephant corridor from private ownership and transferred to the state government. The corridor which connects Kollegal forests to Biligiri Ranganswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary would be soon notified to be made a part of a protected area as Karnataka Forest Department officials and WTI signed the land ownership transfer agreement last week. […]

Sandeep Kumar Tiwari, who heads WTI’s National Elephant Project adds, “This corridor provides a safe passage for more than a thousand elephants besides other wild animals in this landscape, and will undoubtedly help minimise human-elephant conflicts.” “It is usually easy for the NGOs to restore passage by purchasing the corridors and handing over to the government. “They are trying to persuade the community or individual in handing over the area for elephants which need contagious patch of forests for free movement,” AN Prasad, Director of Project Elephant of environment ministry said.

A second elephant corridor restoration agreement has been signed by the WTI with the Kerala Forest Department for Tirunelli-Kudrakote corridor that can be used by 5,000 elephants to move between the Brahmagiri Hills near Coorg in Karnataka and the northern Wyanad region in Kerala. Four families have been re-settled and given new homes to clear this corridor. Works are also on to secure the Siju-Rewak Corridor in the north-east in the Garo Hills in Meghalaya, which would protect an important population by addressing the problem of forest  fragmentation which is a serious threat to the elephants’ survival.

This corridor project links together the Siju Wildlife Sanctuary and the Rewak Reserve Forest in Meghalaya State, close to the India-Bangladesh border. This area, owned by tribal communities, lies within the meeting place of the Himalayan Mountain Range and the Indian Peninsula and contains at least 139 other species of mammal, including tiger, clouded leopard and the Himalayan Black Bear. […]

With the support of World Land Trust, Elephant Family, IUCN-Netherlands, besides IFAW, WTI has been working to secure critical elephant corridors across the country, by purchasing corridor land from private owners and transferring it to the government for inclusion into adjoining protected areas, or through community involvement. Resident settlements are provided land with newly-constructed houses with improved amenities in an alternative site identified and selected with their consent.

In some cases, local communities are encouraged to voluntarily set aside community land for conservation. The consenting communities are provided support for eco-development to reduce their dependence on forest resources. “We don’t want them to complain and make attempts to come back to the corridor. So we ensure their satisfaction only then they are relocated,” Tiwari pointed out. These restored corridors are among 88 corridors identified by the WTI as traditional routes for elephants to move between forest areas and would provide them a safe corridor between major wildlife sanctuaries in the region.

Source: Elephant corridor, a New Year gift to Karnataka jumbos
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Date Visited: Sat Feb 16 2013 21:20:46 GMT+0100 (CET)

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