Wildlife in southern India has been leaving protected reserve areas in search for water, as a weak, delayed monsoon has left waterbodies dry.
The urgency of a wildlife corridor network becomes more acute under strained environment conditions such as drought. Elephants, leopards and tigers are forced to travel through towns to reach alternative water sources, which puts them in danger of human-wildlife conflict.
Wildlife of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR), one of the two reserves connected by the Mudahalli Elephant Corridor, is one of the reserves which have been affected.
Sivakumar Sharavanan, Trustee of the Wildlife Nature Conservation Trust (WNCT), told the Times of India most of the STR waterbodies have gone dry and around half the STR mammal population has migrated to Karnataka and Kerala forests in search of water.
Corridors to reduce conflict
As the Mudahalli Elephant Corridor unites the STR with the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve (Karnataka), it is essential that it is extended as soon as possible to facilitate the movement of wildlife in search of water.
This migration of wildlife such as elephants, tigers, leopards and hyenas into towns is concerning due to the increased human-wildlife conflict it could cause. Creating wide corridors of natural habitat between protected reserves would decrease the animal traffic through neighbouring towns and villages, reducing conflict.
World Land Trust is still raising funds for the Elephant Corridor Appeal to extend the Mudahalli Elephant Corridor to make the passage of elephants and other animals between the STR and the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve safe for humans and wildlife.
The drought conditions in southern India have made wildlife corridors even more urgent. Please support this appeal to help us reduce human-wildlife conflict.