Safe passage for Indian Elephants travelling through the Mudahalli corridor between the Eastern and Western Ghats can now be secured, thanks to all of the supporters of World Land Trust’s (WLT) Elephant Corridor Appeal.
The Elephant Corridor Appeal has now reached its £750,000 target, so the extension of the Mudahalli corridor by WLT’s partner Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is now fully funded.
This corridor is of vital importance for elephants and other migrating mammals (such as Bengal Tigers) attempting to travel between the Ghats mountain ranges for food or mates. The funding is being used for land exchange so the landowner is able to continue subsistence farming, but away from elephant passage.
This situation is a win-win, as the elephants are known to raid crops as they pass through the strip of land between villages, which has caused an increase in human-elephant conflict in the area.
Work has begun
WLT reported on WTI’s preliminary wildlife monitoring activities back in January. These surveys are ongoing, and negotiations for land purchase and compensation has also begun.
In the last report, in addition to evidence of elephant and tiger passage, WTI found signs of Barking Deer, Black-naped Hare, Chital, Sambar Deer, Sloth Bear and Wild Boar in the corridor forest and extension area.
Vivek Menon, Executive Director of WTI, is elated at this news and thanks all the supporters whose generosity helped WLT achieve the target. He says "With this support, WTI-WLT will be able to secure the piece of land needed to extend the Mudahalli corridor, which is crucial to provide safe passage for elephants and tigers in the area. WLT and WTI are long standing partners who over a decade have already secured three vital elephant corridors in India. With WLT’s global expertise and WTI’s local conservation knowledge, this partnership is a wonderful fit to take the vision of Asian Elephant Alliance forward."
Raising £750,000 for elephants
Reaching the £750,000 has been a result of tremendous efforts from individual donors and corporate supporters. There were hundreds of donations in the first two weeks of the appeal during Big Match Fortnight, when every donation made was matched to raise a total of £455,000.
We would also like to thank supporters who created fundraising events for this appeal, such as Gina Lane and her colleagues from The Capital Group, and corporate supporters The Hemp Trading Company (THTC) for commissioning an exclusive Elephant Corridor shirt for the appeal.
Creative Director Jonny Lu and Film maker Jeremy Valender have also given key support to this appeal by making the short film 'Elephant Corridors', footage of which is featured in the video above. A book featuring a photographic study of the coexistence of wild Indian Elephants and communities by Jamie Hawkesworth will be released soon to raise further funds for elephant corridors in the future.
We were also delighted to receive an additional payment from the legacy of Clive Bernard Lamberton, which supported this urgent appeal and helped us to reach the target.
World Land Trust is a part of the Asian Elephant Alliance together with local partner WTI, operational partner IUCN National Committee of The Netherlands, Elephant Family and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
This alliance is committed to the conservation of Indian Elephants and is currently focussed on conserving and protecting corridors connecting elephant habitats across India. Our mission to secure funding for the protection of the Mudahalli corridor is complete, but we remain a part of this alliance and will continue to raise funds for further elephant corridor projects to ensure the survival of Indian Elephants in the wild.