In what is being described as the first such conservation step in Asia, more than 25 acres of land has been donated to the Karnataka forest department so that wild elephants can move freely through a dedicated corridor between two reserve forests. Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) transferred the ownership of land in Karnataka's Chamarajanagar district to the forest department on Christmas eve to start reforestation work.
The land falls under the Kollegal (Edayarhalli-Doddasampige) corridor (about 1 km wide and 8 km long) that connects the Kollegal forest with Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats, some 140 km from Bangalore. Hundreds of elephants pass through this corridor every year in their annual migration route.
Environmentalists say the region is part of the 12,000 sq km of forests in the Nilgiri and Western Ghats, home to tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. It also houses Asia's single largest wild elephant population of about 6,000.