Workshop on Wildlife Corridors – Conservation Challenges for Large Mammal Dispersal
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Conservation of large mammals at a landscape level faces multiple challenges. While poaching and habitat degradation affect source sites, the larger landscape is threatened by myriad and competing land use requirements. In this context, the importance of maintaining wildlife corridors to ensure connectivity in the landscape takes up even more significance.
At a time when the country is experiencing severe habitat fragmentation, conservation of wildlife corridors needs to be prioritized. The last countrywide estimation of tigers, co-predators and prey (Jhala et al. 2011) suggested that though there was a country-wide increase of 20% in tiger numbers, there was a decline of 12.6% in tiger occupancy from connecting habitats. Much of these are corridor forests. This requires better understanding of the corridors including documentation of the connectivity and usage by wild animals, analysing the threats, stakeholders consultation and agreeing on a corridor management plan followed by its implementation.While most important wildlife corridors in the country have been mapped and documents, we are continuing to lose this vital connectivity. Whether it is the Terai Arc Landscape in the north or the central Indian Satpuda Maikal Landscape, large mammal corridors are under tremendous pressure from urbanization, unplanned development, mineral extraction, agricultural expansion and encroachment. In this context it is important to prioritize corridor conservation, monitor their usage and develop strategies for the long-term conservation and management of corridors as multiple use areas within a broader conservation landscape.This workshop, involving researchers, managers and conservation practitioners will discuss strategies and approaches for corridor conservation from India and other Asian countries. We envisage that the discussions in the workshop will help young researchers gain clear understanding about the problems the corridors are facing and the management and conservation responses to those. Participants of SCCS, especially the students and researchers are invited to attend this workshop and interact with the resource persons.>