Nilgiris and Eastern Ghats

Largest population of Asian elephants in the world

The Nilgiris and eastern Ghats were selected as an AREAS priority, because they maintain the largest population of Asian elephants in the world, estimated to be between 6,300-10,000 individuals.
The context
This landscape is spread over an area of 12,000 km2 and elephants here occur in a variety of habitats ranging from evergreen forests and dry deciduous forests across thorn scrub jungle to swampy areas and grasslands.

This population is key for the long-term conservation of wild Asian elephants.

The area is also the home to many endangered species like the tiger, and endemic species like Nilgiri Tahr and Nilgiri langur. Poaching of tusked males for ivory, habitat degradation, elephant-human conflict and threats to connectivity are serious problems in this landscape.

Ratios of adult males to females are moderately skewed, and thus the genetic effective population size of elephants is much less than the potential size.

WWF on the ground
AREAS' main objectives here are to enhance habitat connectivity, reduce human-elephant conflict, and prevent further skew in sex ratios by strengthening anti-poaching efforts in some areas.

WWF recently brought together all the important stakeholders in this landscape to identify the priority interventions needed urgently and to map out an action plan.

Since local support is crucial for conserving elephants here, WWF is planning to support and encourage other partners in working with communities in jointly managing corridor forests and also in developing other alternative forms of income generation for people depended on the resources from these corridor forests.

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