Exploring a tiger corridor on foot
In November WWF India, the Indian Forest Department and other partners took part in a seven-day walk through a tiger corridor between Kanha and Pench Tiger Reserves, India. The aim of the walk was to raise awareness among local communities of the vital role of tiger corridors and the need to conserve wildlife outside of protected areas.
A tiger corridor is a stretch of land linking tiger habitats, allowing movement of tigers, prey and other wildlife. Without corridors tiger habitat can become fragmented and tiger populations isolated leaving the tigers vulnerable to localised extinction.
Participants walked in Wildlife Corridor Used by Wild Tigers, © WWF India
62 people took part in the 200 km trek from Khapa to Rukkhaad, 130km of which was on foot. The walk took them along several rivers as well as a wide range of diverse forest types.
The Kanha-Pench corridor is not only a refuge for tigers but also wild dogs, leopard, hyena, jackal, sambar and sloth bear. Evidence of large carnivores, deer and other wildlife were found during the walk.
"It aims to bring awareness of the urgent need to secure tiger habitats outside protected areas " Chitranjan Dave, Landscape Co-ordinator, WWF India
Engaging Local Communities on the Importance of Wildlife © WWF India
Stopping at different villages each night the trip offered the unique experience of being immersed into local ways of life. In total 36 villages were visited with participants having the opportunity to interact face-to-face with the villagers.
During the walk more than 1500 villagers participated in eight awareness events including in-depth conservation discussions.
"Every night informal village interaction was followed by a wildlife movie," Chitranjan continues.
Kanha Pench Tiger Corridor, © WWF India
Despite being vital for the long-term survival and viability of tigers, the Kanha-Pench corridor, like many tiger corridors, is under threat from development projects. The greatest threat here is the expansion of road and railway networks which will cut through the corridor.
Thank you to everyone who took part and helped raise awareness of the importance of tigers corridors. #doubletigers