Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) has installed camera-traps around Kosi River, Nihal-Bhakhara and Kilpura-Khatima-Surai corridors to monitor problems faced by wild animals, especially elephants, in moving in these areas. WWF has provided infrastructure support and capacity building of frontline forest staff to enhance the protection of these corridor areas.
The international NGO is working with local communities to reduce dependence on corridor forests. WWF-India has provided biogas, LPG and improved chulhas (stoves) to people living in the Kosi River corridor and the Chilla-Moichur areas, so they do not have to depend on wood from the forests for fuel. AK Singh, senior official of WWF, said the Kosi River corridor offers connectivity between Corbett Tiger Reserve and Ramnagar Forest Division at four different stretches, between Mohan and Kumaria, Dhangari Gate and Sundarkhal and between the two blocks of Sundarkhal, and Ladua and Aamdanda Gate. Heavy traffic on National Highway 121, expansion of resorts in this region and the boundary wall of a factory have caused shrinkage in the area available to animals here. The Nihal-Bhakhra corridor connects the forest of Ramnagar division with the Terai Central division, and offers a buffer to the spill-over population of tigers from Corbett Tiger Reserve and Ramnagar Forest Division. Traffic on the Haldwani-Kaladhungi Road, encroachment of forests in the area and human settlements here have created a problem for wildlife here. Three ranges of Terai East forest division, Kilpura, Khatima and Surai, form a corridor that connects with Mahof range of Pilibhit and the Sharda range of Nandhour Wildlife Sanctuary.
Here too, the Khatima-Tanakpur NH 125, the railway track and Sharda canal intrude into areas rich in wildlife. Singh said camera-traps would be installed in all these areas to better monitor movement of wildlife. “WWF has provided infrastructure support – vehicles and capacity-building of frontline forest staff – through regular training. We also keep holding workshops with them and invite experts who further hone their skills in protection of the wildlife,” he said. Of the Rs26,239 needed for each biogas plant of two cubic metres, which would serve a family of about six members with three adult cattle, WWF is contributing Rs 15,000. The rest will be borne by the family installing the device. Cow dung can also be used as a fertilizer and for vermin-compost.
LPG connections too have been provided at half the regular price of Rs 2,500 to families in these areas. WWF is at present surveying 88 families in 22 villages in Haridwar, Doiwala and Rishikesh, to gather information on those continuing to use wood as fuel.