Need For Elephant Corridors Throughout The Country

Elephants in a tea plantation
Ananda Kumar M
Setting up elephant corridors will and try and reduce human-elephant conflict

A report by the Elephant Task Force (ETF) has estimated that roughly 400 people are killed in India every year in conflicts with elephants. Encroachment of elephant habitat by a growing human population creates a situation where elephants frequently raid crops. Retaliatory killings are on the rise and, for instance, in Karnataka alone, 16 elephants were killed in 2006-07, 46 were killed in 2008-9 and 41 were killed in 2009-10. The Karnataka forest department paid 4.2 crores in 2008-9 for loss to life and crops. West Bengal paid out 3 crores for ex-gratia relief.

Karnataka has launched a “Rationalisation of Elephant Corridors and Consolidation of Boundaries Project” which aims to help communities living in the buffer zones and help them resettle outside danger zones. The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is working to establish two corridors in the Nilgiris. It has already secured the Kollegal Forest-Biligiri Rangaswamy temple (BRT) corridor and transferred ownership to the state forest department. Following this, work has been started to establish a 2200 acre Tirunelli-Kudrakote corridor. The Karnataka forest department is keen to secure another four corridors to ensure free movement of elephants. WTI has identified 88 elephant corridors throughout the country that need to be secured. The Union ministry has setup the Elephant Task Force to help setup elephant landscapes across the country.

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