Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Elephant Corridor Appeal

World Land Trust (WLT) is working with Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) in an urgent bid to save Indian Elephants from extinction by safeguarding their traditional migration routes. The Elephant Corridor Appeal aims to raise £750,000 to extend and protect Mudahalli Corridor, where the Eastern and Western Ghats meet in southern India.

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A right of passage

India has a network of protected habitats in national parks, privately owned areas and community reserves but with a population of 1.2 billion people, land is becoming increasingly scarce for wildlife.

As more land is taken over for development and agriculture, less land is available for wildlife and they become trapped in ever-shrinking scraps of wilderness. This is particularly an issue for Indian Elephants, who need to travel great distances to find enough food to sustain their great size. When elephants attempt to use ancient migration routes, they come into conflict with humans, especially when they raid crops from fields and grain storage huts. When people try to chase them away, it can escalate into dangerous confrontations. People living within these migration routes live in fear for their families and crops and are keen to be moved away from the elephant threat. 

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“In spite of rapid urbanisation, a billion-plus population and industrial growth, we remain one of the most biodiverse nations in the world. Our laws are stringent, and among the people there is a culture to respect animals that is part of our heritage. There is a will to succeed and there is the opportunity to be successful in saving our iconic species from disaster."

Vivek Menon, Director, Wildlife Trust of India

WLT’s urgent appeal focuses on the Mysore-Nilgiri biosphere region, where the Eastern and Western Ghats mountain ranges meet in southern India.  This one of the most important regions for elephants and tigers. Although there are reserves, the region has a dense human population resulting in increasing habitat fragmentation and human-wildlife conflict.

Mudahalli Elephant Corridor

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Some 19 wildlife corridors have been identified within this region, of which Mudahalli is the most important for elephants. The Mudahalli Corridor will connect the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve in the Chamrajnagar Wildlife Division (Karnataka) with the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (Tamil Nadu).

This is one of two corridors forming the connection between the Eastern and Western Ghats – one, at Punjur, is already too narrow (less than 100 metres) to function, leaving Mudahalli as the last connection. Even here it is tenuous, the corridor being less than 300 metres wide with free movement already restricted for both elephants and tigers. This means that the corridor must urgently be secured and widened.

WTI is working closely with the families who currently own the area bordering the corridor, who will either directly sell their land or opt for alternate land in a safer location.

                          Click map for larger image.

Resolving conflict

WLT and WTI have previously resolved several cases of human-elephant conflict in elephant corridors by working with local communities. For Mudahalli, WTI will work with owners of agricultural land, purchasing their properties or providing land elsewhere, to minimise the chance of elephants causing damage to property, and coming into conflict with humans.

People farming in the path of elephant migration routes are usually eager to swap for land elsewhere, as they live in daily fear of their crops being wrecked and the chance of personal injury.

These projects are a win-win for local people and wildlife; communities can live and farm in safety, and animals can safely use the corridor once the land is protected.

Monitoring wildlife

To record the diversity and numbers of wildlife being protected by the Mudahalli Corridor, camera traps and periodic studies identifying dung, pellets and scats will be utilised. This will help to form a true picture of the species benefiting from the corridor

Other wildlife living in the reserves connected by the Mudahalli Elephant Corridor includes Bengal Tiger, Indian Leopard, Dhole, GaurSloth Bear, primates such as Grey Langur and Bonnet Macaque, and Indian Antelope.

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Big Match Fortnight

This year Big Match Fortnight was 5-19 October, during which time all donations made to the Elephant Corridor Appeal were be matched by a small group of generous WLT donors (made up of individuals and corporate supporters).

Donate to the Elephant Corridor Appeal

Donate as a Gift »

For tax efficient international payments from the US or Australia click here »

 

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