Elephant corridors at BRT in jeopardy

Elephant corridors at BRT in jeopardy

In danger

Elephants in the BRT tiger reserve in Chamarajnagar. Dh photo

The state has nine elephant corridors out of which three are present in the Biligiriranganatha Tiger reserve forest. Yedeyarahalli, doddasampige, Mudalli and Punajuru  villages are present adjoining the elephant corridors and due to the increased population of these village the corridor has shrunk. This has resulted in increased the encounters between elephants and humans.

There are around eight villages in and around  the Yedyarhalli-Doddasampige corridor and the villagers have occupied forest land for the purpose of grazing and collecting firewood. The state of the Mudali and Punajanuru corridor is no different. The14 villages surrounding this corridor have encroached forest land and has reduced the width of the corridor to a mere one  and a half kilometers. Environmentalist allege that the forest department has not taken any measure to protect this corridor.

Negligence

The Wildlife trust of India had purchased and 23 acres of occupied forest land in 2007 and had handed it over to the Forest Department. It was expected that this would ease the movement of the elephants. Much to the dismay of elephant lovers and  environmentalist the department has not come forward with any measure to revive the corridor. It is the responsibility of the Forest department to plant trees which attract wild animals in this area.

But the department has not shown any signs of doing so and environmentalist allege that this land is turing out to be a wasteland. The Human settlements around the corridor has increased.

This has resulted in the occupation of conventional paths taken by the elephants. Proper revival of these corridors will reduce the animals entering villages and cities says M Ramesh who is carrying out a research on the elephant corridors in the BRT tiger reserve forest.

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