September 20, 2023
A recent report released by the central government highlights a significant increase in elephant corridors across 15 elephant range states in India. The number of elephant corridors has risen from 88 in 2010 to 150, a 40% increase. These corridors are essential strips of land that facilitate the movement of elephants between different habitats. The report also notes that 19% of the corridors have seen a decrease in use, with 10 others requiring restoration due to impairments. The expansion of elephant ranges is observed in regions like Vidarbha in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, northern Andhra Pradesh, and northeastern states. The report emphasizes the importance of long-term habitat viability and data-driven approaches for the conservation of elephants in these areas.
The increase in elephant corridors signifies the importance of providing safe passages for elephants to move between different habitats, reducing human-elephant conflicts and aiding in their conservation.
Defining Elephant Corridors
Elephant corridors are strips of land that enable elephant movement between two or more friendly habitats. Their purpose is to facilitate the natural movement of elephants, allowing them to access resources and avoid conflicts with human settlements.
State with the Highest Number of Elephant Corridors
West Bengal has the most elephant corridors with 26, which is 17% of the total corridors. This is significant as it highlights the importance of this state in elephant conservation efforts.
Reasons for the Decline in Elephant Corridor Usage
The decrease in corridor use is attributed to habitat fragmentation, shrinkage, and destruction, which can restrict elephants’ access to these pathways.
Expansion of Elephant Ranges
The report notes the expansion of elephant ranges in regions like Vidarbha in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, northern Andhra Pradesh, and northeastern states. This is noteworthy as it reflects changes in elephant distribution and habitat usage.
The report emphasizes the need for long-term habitat viability and data-driven approaches in states with expanding elephant populations. Additionally, it calls for the restoration of impaired corridors to facilitate elephant movement and reduce conflicts.