Corridors become more dangerous for endangered animals

The 12 elephant corridors in the country that wild elephants use to move from one habitat to another are now becoming more dangerous to this endangered animal. As a result, the elephant- human conflict is increasing. According to the Bangladesh Forest Department, over the last two decades, the death toll by elephant attacks rose to 175. Additionally, elephants have damaged properties of 596 people during the same period. A total of 88 wild elephants got killed from 2001 to October 2019. In the wake of the escalating conflict, experts are urging immediate corridor reserves to protect elephants.

About 200 elephants roam the area of 1500 sq km in 44 forest range of nine forests divisions in the country. Most of these are moving into Chattogram, Cox’s Bazaar, Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban district of Greater Chattogram. Some are found in Mymenshing and Sylhet region.

According to International Union of Conservation of Nature IUCN, a leading agency working on nature worldwide, the mammal animal in Bangladesh is using 12 corridors to travel from one habitat to another. A corridor is an area used by elephants to pass one habitat patch to another or defined as an area that connects two patches of suitable habitat.

After a three-year long survey titled ‘Elephants Routes and Corridors in Bangladesh’ in 2016 the forest department and IUCN have Identified these corridors. These are Ukhia-Ghundhum Corridor, Tulabagan-Panerchara Corridor, Naikhongchari-Rajarkul Corridor , Bhomariaghona-Rajghat Corridor, Tulatali-Idgar Corridor, Khuntakhali-Medhakassapia Corridor, Fashiakhali-Chairakhali Corridor, Fashiakhali-Manikpur Corridor, Chunati-Satgar Corridor, Lalutia-Barduara Corridor, Sukhbilash-Kodala Corridor, Narischa-Kodala Corridor.

Last week, eight elephants of different ages had gone to the paddy fields in Boalkhali in Chattogram near the LALUTIA – Barduaara Elephants corridor. Three people were killed in a tragic accident. “All Elephants corridors in the country have now become dangerous for these mammal animals because of human intervention, said Raquibul, “Immediate actions have to be taken for the safety of humans and animals near the forests where elephants are roaming.”

Due to Rohingya infiltration, Chattogram-Cox's Bazar railway construction project and other reasons, elephants are badly threatened. Elephant-designated corridors, routes .and cross-border movement routes are now, in fact, occupied by locals.