We are delighted to share some incredibly uplifting updates from our Kerala wildlife corridors project with you.
It has emerged that Elephant Family’s wildlife corridors project in partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India has generated an increase in the presence of wildlife moving freely within the area, including tigers, elephants and spotted deer.
The project which involved a local village being voluntarily relocated has reportedly led to an increase in income from Rs 41,040 per annum per family to Rs 175,080, owing to the decrease in human-elephant conflict. Further to this, the relocation meant that people are closer to schools and medical care, and illiteracy has seen a decline from 33 per cent to 28 per cent.
Most excitingly, as a result of the project’s success, the Government of Kerala have pledged to accelerate the expansion of these wildlife corridors by making an additional four corridors secure. The more corridors there are, the more security wildlife has to roam unthreatened by human activity and we could not be more pleased with this news!
The Kerala Corridor project
In 2005, Elephant Family partnered with the Wildlife Trust of India and in 2011, voluntarily relocated a village of 200 people. This allowed the land on which the village was located to become secure and available for wildlife to use as a passage between habitats that had previously become fragmented, being given legal protection in 2015. In doing so, the project successfully increased the security with which the animals can live unthreatened by human development such as roads and power lines. The corridor acts as a link for up to 6,500 elephants (amongst other species) to use.
Why is this project important?
“The Thirunelli-Kudrakote corridor is one of the most important ecologically. South India has one of the highest populations and concentrations of elephants and this corridor connects some of the biggest elephant-inhabited areas. When an elephant corridor is fragmented, then elephants cannot migrate and this leads to inbreeding and genetic isolation. When that happens there is a big chance of the population declining,” said Elephant Family Conservation partner Upasana Ganguly, Wildlife Trust of India.