INDIA

ACRES SAVED 0

YEARS OF SUPPORT 0

TREES PLANTED 0

 

Nearly 8% of all the world’s species can be found in India, a testament to its diverse range of habitats. Wildlife thrives here in dry deserts and plains, wetlands and tropical rainforests, high mountain ranges and Himalayan tundra, and rich seas that wash onto more than 4,500 miles of coastline.

India is home to more Asian Elephants than any other country, as well as bears, rhinos, lions, tigers, and three types of leopard. The country’s reptiles and amphibians are characterised by a high degree of endemism: 47% and 61% respectively. India also harbours over 1,300 species of bird and 20+ primate species, including monkeys, gibbons and lorises.

 
 

India’s economy is growing, and it will soon pass China as the most populous nation on Earth. Human-wildlife conflict is on the rise due to shrinking natural habitats, but there is a solution to this problem: protecting crucial corridors that secure connectivity for India’s remarkable animal life.

The work of World Land Trust’s partners shows coexistence is not just possible, but also profitable for the people of India.

 

Our partners in India

Our projects in India

 
D'Ering-Dibru Saikhowa Elephant Corridor

The destruction and degradation of natural habitat has led to increased human-elephant conflict in many areas of India. To rectify this, our partner Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) are establishing a protected wildlife corridor, linking the D’ering Wildlife Sanctuary in the state of Arunachal Pradesh with Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in Assam State.

“There can be no conservation without the right conversations,” says WTI, and that’s why local communities have been involved every step of the way on this project. Residents are consulted about the placement of the corridor and will also benefit from part of the area being set aside as a Community Conserved Area (CCA).

WTI are working closely with these communities to restore degraded habitat, provide sustainable livelihood support, and build capacity of management authorities. Human-elephant conflict is also being addressed further through new solar-powered electric fences and other measures.

 
Garo Green Spine

Our first project with WTI began in 2003 and has brought huge success in the years since. Situated in Meghalaya State, the Garo Green Spine is comprised of a network of wildlife corridors, Community Reserves and Village Reserve Forests that benefit both wildlife and the people who live here.

The connectivity provided by these protected areas is vital for key populations of Western Hoolock Gibbon (India’s only ape species) and up to 1,000 elephants, as well as other threatened species like the Chinese Pangolin, Clouded Leopard and Great Hornbill. Over 150,000 native trees have also been planted to help restore degraded habitat.

The Garo people have been heavily involved in setting aside and managing their land for conservation even before this project began. Among the socioeconomic benefits provided by WTI are sustainable livelihood support, healthcare, and new community facilities.

 
 
Mudahalli Elephant Corridor

Mudahalli connects the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve in Karnataka State with the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu State. It is one of only two wildlife corridors to connect the mountain ranges of the Eastern and Western Ghats, with the other corridor currently too narrow to function properly.

With the cooperation of community members who are compensated for ceding their land, WTI are aiming to expand the Mudahalli Corridor from around 17 acres (7 ha) to 27 acres (11 ha). This will widen the protected area to around 500m at its narrowest point – “the ideal width for an elephant corridor,” says WTI.

Of the 19 wildlife corridors in the region, Mudahalli has been identified as the most important one for elephants. On average about 100–150 elephants and about 15-20 tigers regularly use this corridor every year. Dhole, Gaur, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Sambar Deer and Bonnet Macaque are among the other species found here.

 
Sacred Groves

In the north of the Western Ghats, almost every village has at least one Sacred Grove, an area of old-growth forest that has cultural as well as biological significance. With this project, WLT are working with the Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) to protect five Sacred Groves and 1,000 acres (400 ha) of connecting corridors.

Sacred Groves retain some of the oldest and tallest trees in the region and support a very high diversity of plants, birds, and amphibians. AERF’s project area includes nesting locations for the Great Indian Hornbill and Malabar Pied Hornbill, as well as habitat for Endangered frog species that are endemic to the Western Ghats.

The secondary forest that surrounds the Sacred Groves is currently threatened by timber cutting and cashew and mango plantations. AERF will be working with communities to help them sustainably manage this land and improve the protection of the Sacred Groves themselves.

 
 
Sarus Crane Wetland

With this project, WTI are aiming to secure legal protection for 7,400 acres (3,000 ha) of wetland in Uttar Pradesh State, with a further 3,700 acres (1,500 ha) protected under a community-based management regime.

The wetlands in question are a haven for many types of migratory bird, including the project’s flagship species, the Vulnerable Sarus Crane. Habitat degradation had forced India’s only resident crane species to use suboptimal habitat for breeding – bringing them close to rice paddies – but they have now established a breeding population in the project area which is monitored by local communities.

These communities are also receiving support from WTI to help them restore degraded wetland habitat and sustainably manage the land that they own. The wetlands here are used for fishing, farming, and aquaculture. Wild rice and water chestnut are just some of the plants that are cultivated in the region.

KEY SPECIES

 

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