Kerala corridor success paves the way for Corbett project SEARCH NEWS

Asian elephant and baby in Corbett National Park

World Land Trust (WLT) is focusing efforts on securing an elephant corridor on land adjoining the eastern boundary of Corbett National Park in northern India. To achieve this, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), WLT’s conservation partner in India, will follow the model used successfully to establish the Tirunelli-Kudrakote corridor in Kerala, southern India.

The Corbett National Park in the hill state of Uttarakhand is one place in India where tiger numbers are on the rise, but with that increase comes a greater possibility of conflict between wild animals and local residents if the connectivity to other habitats is not maintained.

Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has drawn up plans for new elephant corridors in Uttarakhand in response to urgent relocation requests from residents who live in fear of tigers and elephants.

Moving pictures

To help raise vital funds, WLT will be using a new film produced by Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to raise awareness of the Corbett corridor. The film tells the story of WTI’s successful elephant corridor in Kerala, which was also supported by WLT.

“The film is an excellent overview of the WLT–WTI Kerala project, and will be extremely useful in explaining to new and existing donors why the protection of elephant corridors in India is so important in minimising human-animal conflict,” explains Mary Tibbett WLT’s Conservation Programmes Officer (Asia and Africa Regions).

In the Corbett corridor WTI will use the same model as they did in Tirunelli-Kudrakote, Kerala, to voluntarily relocate 42 families facing elephant, tiger and leopard conflict there. Thereafter another 300 families who live within sight of the main elephant route through this corridor will also be voluntarily relocated by the Indian Government.

Thanks to WLT

Sandeep Kumar Tiwari, WTI’s Deputy Director, is grateful to WLT and all those who helped in the creation of the elephant corridor in Kerala: “This would not have been possible without the generous support we received from WLT, IUCN-NL and Elephant Family and the hard work put in by the WTI team.

“At times we were frustrated due to procedural delays and other reasons outside our control but your support and belief in the team kept us moving and today the corridor is a reality.” (Sandeep Kumar Tiwari, WTI Deputy Director)

“At times we were frustrated due to procedural delays and other reasons outside our control but your support and belief in the team kept us moving and today the corridor is a reality.”

Ripple effect

WLT’s main focus in Uttarakhand is the Chilkiya-Kota corridor. However, WLT’s support during the planning stages here has also facilitated actions in another corridor adjoining the opposite end of the Corbett National Park, the Chilla–Motichur corridor.

In Chilla-Motichur, funds to support the majority of work, including the voluntary relocation of 31 families, were already secured by the Indian Government. However, WLT’s support for the WTI specialists working on the Chilkiya-Kota corridor also enabled the same team to work towards securing of the Chilla-Motichur corridor.

Urgent funds needed

Meanwhile, negotiations with all stakeholders involved in securing the Chilkiya-Kota corridor are well underway and WTI are busy planning the first phase of the voluntary relocation process.

WTI now needs urgent funds to help purchase alternative land for the villagers to move to and for the construction of high-quality housing and amenities in the brand new village.

WLT’s Indian Elephant Corridors Appeal aims to a create a network of forest corridors to enable Indian Elephants to move safely between protected areas, avoid human-elephant conflict and protect critical elephant habitat.

The creation of an Elephant Corridor adjoining the Corbett National Park will enable Indian Elephants to roam between the Corbett protected area and the neighbouring Ramnagar forest without danger to human life.

You can support the Elephant Corridors Appeal by donating to WLT’s Action Fund and specifying Elephant Appeal in the comments box.

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