Kirsty Burgess, WLT Conservation Programmes Manager, recently made a site visit to the Tirunelli-Kudrakote Elephant Corridor which is in the process of being bought by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). She was joined by Edwina Kinsella-Bevan, Projects Manager of Elephant Family (EF), a UK based charity which has raised £120,000 towards the corridor project.
Kirsty and Edwina visited five different settlements being bought in the corridor, and developments are positive: Trees and other vegetation is regenerating rapidly after just three months of protection and elephant activity is obvious throughout the corridor. During their visit they sighted a range of other animals as well, including Common Langur, Dhole (Wild Dog), Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Sambar, Bonnet Macaques, Wild Boar, Sloth Bear, and Gaur (Indian Bison).
The Siju-Rewak Corridor, the first Elephant Corridor, is now completed and the Rongjak Forest, a community owned forest neighbouring the corridor area, was officially declared as a wildlife sanctuary during Kirsty and Edwina's visit.
A visit was also made to the Mangrove project in Northern Kerala to see the newly purchased five acres. This area is of strategic importance and the mangroves are in good condition. Some planting has also taken place. WTI is planning a pilot project here, looking at the re-introduction of rare coral species through coral transplanting.