Odisha govt to conduct survey of jumbo corridors

The recommendation was based on the 2017 assessment of the Forest department in which it was reportedly found that at least 10 out of 14 identified elephant corridors were non-functional.
Image used for representative purpose only. (File photo | EPS)
Image used for representative purpose only. (File photo | EPS)

BHUBANESWAR: The state government will carry out a fresh survey of elephant corridors to ensure uninterrupted movement of the gentle giants between their key habitats without being disturbed by humans. PCCF (Wildlife) SK Popli said the Forest department has sought support from ‘Project Elephant’ in this regard.

“During a MoEFCC meeting last month, I had recommended that Project Elephant called all the elephant-ranging states to decide on how to take a particular area as a corridor, as it doesn’t remain fixed all the time,” he added. The recommendation was based on the 2017 assessment of the Forest Department in which it was reportedly found that at least 10 out of 14 identified elephant corridors were non-functional.

“We have also sought recommendations from Project Elephant regarding the appropriate legal protection that should be provided to such corridors and how to proceed further in this matter,” Popli informed. Sources said further deliberation on this matter is expected to take place during the upcoming steering committee meeting of Project Elephant next month.

Another official from the wildlife wing of the Forest Department said since officials of the Ministry agreed to the proposal of the chief wildlife warden, the survey is expected to begin soon. With the state having three elephant reserves in Mayurbhanj, Mahanadi and Sambalpur and around 1,976 pachyderms (as per the 2017 census) that represent around 72 per cent of the elephant population in eastern India, experts said it is essential to safeguard their corridors and provide safe movement between the habitats to secure their long future.

The move will also reduce fatalities arising out of human-elephant conflict to a significant level, they opined.

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