Ethical Hedonist Spy
Time is fast running out to raise enough money for the completion of the critically important Mudahalli Elephant Corridor , says World Land Trust Director of Conservation, Roger Wilson, after a site visit to this important wildlife corridor. The corridor will connect two key nature reserves – the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve in the Chamrajnagar Wildlife Division (Karnataka) with the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (Tamil Nadu) and offer safe passage to remaining wild elephant herds.
Last year, the Elephant Corridor Appeal raised an impressive £650,000, but the campaign still needs to raise £106,000, to extend and protect the corridor.
Given the growing conflict between humans and elephants in India, the corridor is vital, to offer safe passage to elephants between two major wildlife reserves.
“In spite of rapid urbanisation, a billion-plus population and industrial growth, we remain one of the most biodiverse nations in the world. Our laws are stringent, and among the people there is a culture to respect animals that is part of our heritage. There is a will to succeed and there is the opportunity to be successful in saving our iconic species from disaster.” Vivek Menon, Director, Wildlife Trust of India
Says Roger, “The Mudahalli Corridor is placed between two villages, and if the Wildlife Trust of India, WRi was not implementing this important work, the opportunity would be lost. The reality is that the elephants have cross between these reserves, but without this small, vital piece of land, they would be crossing through villages and fields.”
This is the point at which humans and animals come into conflict over food and ancient grazing land and both people and animals suffer.
Indian culture holds great respect for animals and wildlife, and Roger spoke to some local people who want to respect the elephants’ right of passage, but are worried about the dangers of elephants coming into their land.
Help Preserve Respect Between Human and Elephants in India
“I spoke to one farmer who earns £3 a day as a labourer, and spends his nights chasing elephants off his land to stop them stealing crops. If the elephants don’t have the corridor lands, they are forced to pass through fields, and then they take the opportunity to raid the crops, destroying the farmers’ livelihoods. By working with him, and offering him land in exchange for his land within the Mudahalli Elephant Corridor, WTI has the only win-win solution.”
“This is not just a wildlife story- it is a story of people and wildlife. By speaking to people living and farming in the corridors and offering them land in exchange for the land in the corridor, WTI’s is able to preserve the historic respect between humans and elephants in India.
Rare Potato Seeds Head to the Global Seed Bank
Rare potato seeds, from the Commonwealth Potato Collection (CPC), held in trust by the James Hutton Institute, are heading to the Global Seed vault at Svalbard, and will form the first UK deposit. The vault, which lies half way between Norway and the North Pole, houses the largest collection of seeds in the world, and offers a fail-safe storage facility, built to stand the test of time and protect invaluable genetic resources from possible future catastrophic, global, environmental events.
The CPC is one of seven potato genetic banks, and its function is to safeguard the genetic diversity of the crop and make it available to researchers and breeders. The conservation of such resources is critical for safeguarding food security both now and in the future.
For more on this story visit James Hutton Institute
Images Courtesy of the World Land Trust.