- Conservation related issues.
What to study?
- For Prelims: Project Elephant, Important Elephant Corridors.
- For Mains: Issues associated over Elephant Corridor maintenance, man- animal conflicts- measures necessary.
Context: Asian Elephant Alliance, an umbrella initiative by five NGOs, has come together to secure 96 out of the 101 existing corridors used by elephants across 12 States in India.
- The joint venture aims to secure the 96 remaining elephant corridors, old and new, in the next ten years.
- The alliance joined hands to raise the mammoth sum as money was the main constraint in securing the land.
- NGOs Elephant Family, International Fund for Animal Welfare, IUCN Netherlands and World Land Trust have teamed up with Wildlife Trust of India’s (WTI) in the alliance.
What are Elephant Corridors?
Elephant corridors are narrow strips of land that connect two large habitats of elephants. Elephant corridors are crucial to reduce animal fatalities due to accidents and other reasons. So fragmentation of forests makes it all the more important to preserve migratory corridors.
Why protect elephant corridors?
- The movement of elephants is essential to ensure that their populations are genetically viable. It also helps to regenerate forests on which other species, including tigers, depend.
- Nearly 40% of elephant reserves are vulnerable, as they are not within protected parks and sanctuaries. Also, the migration corridors have no specific legal protection.
- Forests that have turned into farms and unchecked tourism are blocking animals’ paths. Animals are thus forced to seek alternative routes resulting in increased elephant-human conflict.
- Weak regulation of ecotourism is severely impacting important habitats. It particularly affects animals that have large home ranges, like elephants.
Need of the hour:
Efforts should be to expand elephant corridors, using the successful models within the country. This includes acquisition of lands using private funds and their transfer to the government. Ending human interference in the pathways of elephants is more a conservation imperative.
Related- About Gaj Yatra:
- ‘Gaj Yatra’, a nationwide campaign to protect elephants, was launched on the occasion of World Elephant Day in 2017. The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range states. The elephant is part of India’s animal heritage and the Government celebrates this day to spread awareness about the conservation of the species.
- The 15 months campaign will be led by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). The campaign aims to create awareness about elephant corridors to encourage free movement in their habitat.
Sources: the hindu.