Elephant Corridors in India
- Elephant corridors are essentially linear patches of natural vegetation that connect two habitats which is important for jumbo movement and to maintain a healthy population.
- However, sprouting of roads, railway lines, electricity towers, canals, and human settlements in these corridors are forcing elephants to stray from their natural paths, causing conflict situations with disastrous results for both man and animal.
- According to census of elephants (2017), there are 27, 312 elephants in India.
- Karnataka (6,049) has the highest elephant population followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054).
- Currently 110 elephant corridors are identified in the country.
- Wildlife Trust of India and MOEF’s Project Elephant has identified ‘
- of passage’ in 101 elephant corridors and pressed for greater surveillance and protection of elephant corridors.
Man-animal conflict in General
- Man-animal is defined as interaction between humans and wildlife where negative consequences, whether perceived or real, exists for both humans and animals when action of one has an adverse effect on the other.
Impact of Man-animal conflict
- Injury and loss of life of humans and wildlife
- Crop damage, livestock depredation, predation of managed wildlife stock.
- Damage to human property
- Trophic cascades
- Destruction of habitat
- Collapse of wildlife populations
- Reduction of geographic ranges
Man-animal conflict in India
- Conflict-prone species include tiger, leopard, Asian elephants, sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, wild pig, nilgai and gray wolves.
- In the Gir forests, livestock of Maldhari community is severely affected by Asiatic lion.
- Snow leopard causes huge economic loss to the local communities through livestock predation in the Trans-Himalayan ecosystem.
- Asiatic elephant is known to cause large scale damage to crops and human lives across its range in India
- In north-east, the incidences of conflict have increased due to reduction of forest cover below 30-40%.
- ‘Vermin’ or ungulate species including wild pig, nilgai, barking deer, spotted deer, and wild ass cause damage to both food crops and young shoots of other crops and plantations.
Reasons for Man-animal conflict
- Growing human settlements has resulted in shrinking habitats of animals.
- Changing land-use patterns
- Wildlife corridors are being blocked by linear infrastructure projects like highways, railway tracks etc.
- Degradation and fragmentation of wild habitats: A main reason for the increasing human-animal conflicts is the presence of a large number of animals and birds outside the notified protected areas.
Section : Environment & Ecology