A Study of Human and Animal Habitats

A photographic study of the Wayanad Corridor by Jamie Hawkesworth 



In 2015 photographer Jamie Hawkesworth and creative director/ World Land Trust Ambassador Jonny Lu visited the Wayanad Wildlife Reserve in remote Kerala to document the Indian Elephants and people that inhabit the area. The result is a newly published book: A Study of Human and Animal Habitats.

In particular they were interested in a small but vastly important piece of land, known as an elephant corridor, that allows elephants, tigers and other wildlife to travel from one National Park to another.

The Wayanad (Tirunelli-Kudrakote) corridor makes up part of the natural habitat used by Asia’s single largest elephant population. However despite this, the growing population of humans has put the elephant and countless other wild animals’ lives at risk. For thousands of years, elephants have migrated constantly over vast distances to find food and flourish. The expanding and shifting human population, that also relies on the Wayanad land for the building of farms, roads and villages, is at odds with the elephants’ need to move freely to feed, unite and mate with other herds.

This project was commissioned by World Land Trust (WLT), who work in partnership with Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to enable local communities to save and protect corridors connecting elephants’ habitats across India. Encouraging humans to work with and not against the threatened species.

The book originally set out to create a portrait of the Indian Elephant, in an attempt to bring awareness to the human-wildlife conflict and raise funds to safeguard the animals’ land. However, what they discovered was a relationship between man and animal in a state of constant flux, with complex and conflicting sets of demands on their common space. This book documents the struggle of a coexistence of man and elephant that hangs in precarious balance.

All profits from ‘A Study of Human and Animal Habitats’ will support WLT and WTI’s wildlife conservation work in India, and help secure elephants and other threatened species’ safe passage.