DR Ambedkar IAS Academy

Kaziranga National Park: Report identifies 9 corridors for free movement of animals

  • A special committee has recommended the delineation (laying down the exact boundaries) of nine animal corridors in Kaziranga National Park (KNP).

  •  Wildlife or animal corridors are meant to ensure safe passage for animals between two isolated habitats. At KNP, famous for the one-horned rhino, animals are known to regularly move (especially during the annual floods) from the parking area to the nearby Karbi Anglong hills through these corridors. Once the rains clear, they make their way back to the grasslands.
  • To define the nine corridors, the committee considered human-wildlife conflict data over the past three years, the animal mortality rate on the NH-37 highway, camera trap images, and also conducted a number of field visits and interactions with local communities.
  • The corridors are Panbari, Haldibari, Bagori, Harmoti, Kanchanjuri, Hatidandi, Deosur, Chirang, and Amguri.
  • In wildlife parlance, corridors are mainly of two types: functional and structural.
  • Functional corridors are defined in terms of functionality from the perspective of the animal (basic areas where there have been recorded movement of wildlife).
  • structural corridors are contiguous “strips of forested areas and structurally connect the otherwise fragmented blocks of the landscape.” When structural corridors are affected by human anthropogenic activities, functional corridors automatically widen because of animal use.
  • The nine corridors that already exist behave as functional corridors.
  • According to the new recommendations, the corridors will act as both structural and functional, on the basis of need. The report suggests that structural corridors “should be made free of all human-induced disturbances except for the forestry and wildlife management practices.” On the other hand functional corridors (which might become important when structural corridors are disturbed), “can have regulated multi-use with restrictions on land-use change.”
  • Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India.
  • The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses, is a World Heritage Site.  
  • In 2015, the rhino population stood at 2401. Kaziranga is home to the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006 (now the highest tiger density is in Orang National Park, Assam). The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
  • Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for the conservation of avifaunal species.
  • When compared with other protected areas in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation. Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.
  • Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, crisscrossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and the park includes numerous small bodies of water.