NCF Recommendation for Elephant Corridors in Valparai Plateau

Elephants in tea estates
M Ananda Kumar / NCF
Wild elephants enter tea and coffee plantations in the Valparai plateau as they move from one forest patch to another in the Anamalai Hills of Coimbatore district

The Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) has submitted a recommendation to the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, titled, “Elephant Corridors in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve”. The report identifies the unique location of the Valparai Plateau in the Anamalai hills, where the gently undulating terrain is suitable for elephants to move from one forest patch to another. The NCF report identifies the Ryan division belonging to the Tamil Nadu Tea Plantation Corporation as a suitable candidate for bringing under the control of Anamalai Tiger Reserve. Ryan division has been a hot bed of human deaths, with almost 25 percent of human elephant conflicts (9 of 36 people killed between 1994 and 2011) in an area occupying less than two percent of the Valparai Plantation Landscape. The report also recommends that the Nadu Aru – Sholayar riverine system be developed with native vegetation for elephants’ passage. Dr. Ananda Kumar, Wildlife Scientist, NCF, has suggested that development of native vegetation over a width of 20 metres on either side of the rivers to facilitate elephant passage will minimize negative interactions with humans.

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