Panel identifies 42 elephant corridors in T.N., invites comments from public

The list of corridors identified by the T.N. committee is more than double that of the 20 corridors identified by the Centre; the draft report also points to brick kiln mining as a major threat to at least two elephant corridors

April 29, 2024 02:41 pm | Updated 07:55 pm IST - COIMBATORE

A signboard warning of elephants crossing on the Mettupalayam - Udhagamandalam Road near Kallar in Coimbatore district. File photograph

A signboard warning of elephants crossing on the Mettupalayam - Udhagamandalam Road near Kallar in Coimbatore district. File photograph | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A committee constituted by the Tamil Nadu government to identify elephant corridors in the State has brought out a list of 42 elephant corridors and has invited comments from the public, on the draft report.

Comments on the draft, which can be accessed at, can be sent to The last day for the submission of comments is May 5, 2024.

The number of elephant corridors identified by the panel is much higher than the number of corridors listed by the Project Elephant division of the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change in 2023. The MoEFCC division had identified 20 corridors: 15 located within the State and five inter-state corridors connecting with forests of Karnataka and Kerala.

The Elephant Corridor Committee, comprising officers of the Forest Department, scientific experts, and scientific and conservation organisations under the chairmanship of V. Naganathan, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), carried out a reassessment of the corridors through literature surveys, ground validation and mapping.

As per the draft document, the synchronised census in 2017 reported 2,761 elephants distributed across 26 forest divisions in Tamil Nadu. The synchronised census in 2023 indicated an estimated population of 2,961 elephants in the State. Elephants are distributed across 20 of the 26 forest divisions in Tamil Nadu, covering 9217.13, the report said.

The panel was tasked to reassess the corridors, considering various factors, including fragmentation of elephant habitats and increasing human – elephant conflicts. As per the report, human-elephant conflict has been widespread across 20 forest divisions in Tamil Nadu, with varying degrees of intensity. Coimbatore, Gudalur, Hosur forest divisions and Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve experienced intense human-elephant conflict among the forest divisions.

Habitat connectivities or corridors provide for the movement of elephants, facilitate gene flow between populations, range shifts and minimise human-elephant conflicts, for the long-term viability of elephant populations, the report said

Environmental activists in Coimbatore said the draft points to mining by brick kiln owners as one of the major threats to two corridors that fall under the Coimbatore division. The Melbavi-Pattisalai-Singuli-Kandivalli-Damanur-Sembukarai corridor (Anaiakatty corridor), a typical foothill corridor wedged between forested slopes and human developments along the foothills, is abutted by brick kiln industries and their sand quarry sites, the report said.

As per the report, the ecological impact caused by red soil excavation for brick kiln industries in flat lands along the forest boundary has also disrupted part of another corridor, comprising Vellingiri Andavar Kovil Foothills – Valkaradu – Chinnamalai – Maruthamalai foothills – Kanuvai hills – Mangarai – Madudanpathi – Kurudumalai eastern slopes.

As a long-term management plan, the report said, brick kilns should remain closed within 1.5 km from forest boundaries.

Chennai-based activist S. Muralidharan of the Indian Centre for Animal Rights and Education (INCARE), who has approached the Madras High Court with multiple petitions regarding elephant corridors in Tamil Nadu, said the draft notification should also be published in Tamil for wider reach and comments.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.