What is it about?

Asiatic elephants are facing numerous direct and indirect anthropogenic threats throughout their geographical distributional range. Consequent to the land use and land cover change, habitat loss, fragmentation, and deterioration of the corridor status are the prime threats for the species. The current study aimed to delineate the routes and migratory corridors of elephants in the Indo-Bangla forest along the Patharia Hills Reserve Forest and characterizing existing threats on the corridor for long-term conservation of the elephants using field survey and geospatial techniques. The study identified and mapped the elephant corridor for the first time in the area and named it the “Juri-Patharia-Tilbhum elephant corridor.” Land use and land cover changes in the corridor were markedly observed for over 4 decades (between 1972 and 2018). Forest-covered areas in the corridor were 32.06% in 1972, which has been reduced to only 2.98% in 2018, whereas human development types have all increased, grasslands by 127.18%, plantations by 146.56%, agriculture by 279.63%, and settlements by 147.17% between 1972 and 2018. The study concluded that the corridor area is at risk because of the lack of sustainable development in the area, which deliberately undermines conservation. Human settlement, road construction, and electrification in and around habitats and the corridor are vital threats faced by elephants in the Patharia Hills Reserve Forest. Conservation of habitat and corridor through both adoption of legal measures and community participation might be a better proposition for their long-term conservation in the habitat. The study appeals to the government to take conservation initiative in the area and suggest legal protection of the corridor and provide subsidies to the local private landowner to restrict the land-use change on the corridor.

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This page is a summary of: Mapping and assessing the transboundary elephant corridor in the Patharia Hills Reserve Forest of Assam, India, Rangeland Ecology & Management, June 2020, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.rama.2020.05.001.
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