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Nilgiri Elephant coridor

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    19th Oct, 2020
  • Supreme Court (SC) upholds the Madras High Court’s 2011 order on the Nilgiris elephant corridor
  • SC affirmed the right of passage of the animals and the closure of resorts in the area.
  • In 2011, the Madras HC had upheld the validity of the Tamil Nadu government’s notification (of 2010) declaring an ‘Elephant Corridor’ in the Sigur Plateau of Nilgiris District.
  • According to SC, it’s the State’s duty to protect a “keystone species” like elephants, which are immensely important to the environment.
  • Elephant corridors allow elephants to continue their nomadic mode of survival, despite shrinking forest cover, by facilitating travel between distinct forest habitats. 
  • These corridors play a crucial role in sustaining wildlife by reducing the impact of habitat isolation.
  • The SC opined that the area is a fragile ecosystem, where the will of men must give way to elephants.
  • The court has also allowed the formation of a committee led by a retired HC judge and two other persons to hear the individual objections of resort owners and private landowners within the corridor space.
  • Nilgiris Elephant Corridor
    • It is situated in the ecologically fragile Sigur plateau
    • It connects the Western and the Eastern Ghats.
    • It is situated near the Mudumalai National Park in the Nilgiris district.
    • It also has the Nilgiri hills on its southwestern side and the Moyar river valley on its northeastern side.
    • There are about 100 elephant corridors in India of which almost 70% are used regularly.
    • 75% of the corridors are in the southern, central and north-eastern forests.
    • There are an estimated 6,500 elephants in just the Brahmagiri-Nilgiris-Eastern Ghats ranges.

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