World Land Trust (WLT) is working with Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to safeguard traditional elephant routes so that elephants can move safely between national parks, reserves and other protected areas.
So far WLT has supported the protection of two elephant corridors: Siju-Rewak Corridor in north-east India and Tirunelli-Kudrakote Corridor in southern India.
WLT is now raising funds to safeguard two more corridors. One is in Uttarakhand northern India. The other is the Rewak-Emangre Corridor in the state of Meghalaya, north east India.
The Siju-Rewak Corridor, located in the Garo Hills, protects an important elephant population (thought to be approximately 5.5 per cent of all the elephants that survive in the country), by addressing the problem of forest fragmentation which threatens the elephants' survival.
This corridor links Siju Wildlife Sanctuary and Rewak Reserve Forest in Meghalaya State, close to the India-Bangladesh border. This area 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 (Neofelis nebulosa) and the Himalayan Black Bear (Selenarctos thibetanus laniger), a rare subspecies of the Asian Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus).
What is particularly important about the area of forest that WLT is protecting, is that it contains one of only four crossing points for elephants along the Simsang River, the length of which almost divides the Garo Hills in two. Most of the river has steep rocky sides, which are impossible for an elephant to manoeuvre. In contrast, the Elephant Corridor has gentle sandy beaches on both sides of the river, where elephants can cross easily.
Following the success in securing the Siju-Rewak Elephant Corridor in Meghalaya State, in 2007 WLT and WTI turned their attention to a second corridor site, this time in Kerala State in Southern India.
The site in question is one of 88 corridors identified by WTI as traditional routes for elephants to move between forest areas. Approximately 6km by 1.5km, the corridor connects the Tirunelli and Kudrakote Reserve Forests and provides elephants with a safe passage between major wildlife sanctuaries in the region.
The protection of the Tirunelli-Kudrakote corridor was completed in 2012 following the phased, voluntary relocation of a number of villages away from the corridor. As well as benefiting villagers by moving them into areas with less human-wildlife conflict, the project also organised workshops to assist residents in developing sustainable livelihoods.
The Wayanad region of Kerala is particularly important because it makes up part of the natural habitat used by Asia’s single largest elephant population. The region is also home to a number of other mammal species, including the Tiger and the Gaur.
The wider area of the Western Ghats region is a global biodiversity hotspot, supporting 10 endemic mammal species including Salim Ali's fruit bat (Latidens salimalii) and a type of goat, Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius). The area is home to 13 endemic bird species including the Malabar Parakeet (Psittacula columboides), also known as the Blue-winged Parakeet, and more than 50 per cent of the tree species are endemic to the region.
The Tirunelli Kudrakote corridor is now registered as a Reserve Forest which provides it with legal protection. WTI continues to monitor populations of wildlife using the corridor.
More Information on the Elephant Corridor Project
- To learn more about the elephant corridor project, see the main project page: Indian Elephant Corridors Appeal
- See a map showing the location of the Elephant corridors »