Tamil Nadu plans conservation of elephants

 
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Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), April 10, (ANI): Elephant conservationists and Tamil Nadu Forest officials discussed initiatives undertaken and future activities for conservation of Asian elephants in the state during a two -day workshop at Coimbatore.

The workshop on 'Elephant Corridor Securement and Human-Elephant Conflict Mitigation," which was inaugurated on Friday, brought together experts working on various aspects of elephant conservation to present their initiatives.

Participants also discussed issues that are affecting elephants in Tamil Nadu.

The workshop is a follow-up on recommendations of the national elephant corridor workshop held in Bangalore in December 2007.

The Tamil Nadu Forest Department, the Project Elephant, the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), the Elephant Family and the World Land Trust (WLT) jointly organized this workshop.

Inaugurating the workshop, Tamil Nadu Chief Wildlife Warden R Sundararaju said habitat degradation and fragmentation are among major causes of human-elephant conflicts.

Sundararaju called upon participants to formulate viable recommendations to reduce conflicts and help conserve elephants.

He also urged people to support forest department to conserve forests and elephants for our own survival.

"Help us conserve the elephant and forests for our own survival," Sundararaju said.

Highlighting the significance of corridors in elephant conservation, Project Elephant Director A N Prasad said corridor connectivity is always a necessity for elephant's survival.

"Elephants are wide-ranging and are continuously on the move, so connectivity is always a necessity for elephant's survival. If the connectivity is broken, elephants either remain trapped in small areas or they migrate to other unchartered territories leading to conflicts," Prasad said.

The WTI Executive Director Vivek Menon expressed concern that elephant species is in danger in India despite being revered as a God.

"Despite elephants being found in large numbers in India, and despite them being revered as a God, the species is in danger. It is important to make people understand the elephant and its needs to facilitate its conservation," Menon said.

"Science is undoubtedly a valuable tool in conservation, but we must also make use of the ethics, morals and beliefs of our people to ensure a safe home for elephants," he added.

The workshop discussed the WTI work the 'Right of Passage' that documents 88 elephant corridors across India.

The workshop also discussed the issues related to human-elephant conflict scenario, status of corridors, as well as mitigation of elephant deaths due to train hits in various forest divisions in amil Nadu. (ANI)

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