Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Indian Elephant project launched by the World Land Trust

20 June, 2003 - 00:00 -- World Land Trust
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Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and the WLT are working together to protect a natural elephant corridor in NE India. This is the first project the WLT has undertaken for the protection of Elephants. This corridor, measuring 3.5km by 2km (700ha/ 1687 acres) bridges the gap between two forest reserves allowing elephants to move through without restraint. Designating this passage for the sole use of an elephant crossing will eventually lead to improving their numbers, genetic diversity and hopefully strike them from the endangered species list.

The Indo-Burma region is a biological "hotspot". There are many endangered species found here such as the Clouded Leopard, Chinese Pangolin and Gaur (wild cattle or Indian Bison). However it is the Indian Elephant, with only 591 individuals recorded here, that are under most threat. In 2001 the total elephant population in India was estimated at 28,250, around 50 to 80% of the global population. Numbers are gradually falling due to habitat fragmentation and encroachment from settlements, mining and dams.

With the help from the WLT's funding and the WTI's expertise the Siju-Rewat Elephant Corridor will be created. Local tribe's people have agreed to donate this land to the elephants and also to reduce their own activities on the land. In return the WLT and WTI will help them start up their own sustainable businesses.

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