GUWAHATI, Aug 13: Expressing concern over the increasing number of jumbo deaths in different parts of the country, International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW) has been working to secure five designated elephant corridors in Assam.
The IFAW is an international organisation involved in the preservation and protection of wild animals in the country. The organisation has sought to preserve five corridors connecting Kaziranga and Karbi Anglong.
The IFAW has already secured two elephant corridors—Siju Rewak and Rewak Emangre in Meghalaya, IFAW president and CEO Azzedine Downes said.
He stressed the urgent need for a comprehensive policy change in the country to arrest the rapid fall in elephant population.
Downes highlighted the threats these natural nomads currently face from highways and railways among others and suggested creation of more safe corridors in the country.
“Yes, the elephants face threats from linear infrastructure, such as railways, irrigation, highways and power lines. Thus, there is an immediate need for a much bigger, stronger and comprehensive policy change to prevent this sharp decline in the elephant population,” Downes told a news agency.
“We are optimistic about the future of India’s elephants. IFAW, along with our partner Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), are working together to create real-world solutions that will make an immediate and lasting impact – for animals, people, and the place we call home,” he added.
The resource requirement of India’s growing human population has led to the destruction and fragmentation of wild habitats across the country, depleting the area available for elephants to roam.
The traditional migratory paths of the wild elephants have been adversely impacted. “To secure a future for wild elephants, it is essential that we ensure their uninterrupted movement between key habitats. To do this, designated corridors must be legally secured and protected,” he added.
“Our aim, in partnership with the government of India’s Project Elephant, the forest departments of elephant range states, and various NGOs, has been to protect and secure elephant corridors, while simultaneously improving the livelihood of people affected by conflict in corridor areas.”
Of the 101 corridors identified in India, six have been secured and six more are currently in the process of being secured.