The Sigur Nature Trust with other partner organizations recently published a paper (doi:10.1111/acv.12314) identifying corridors in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve.
Till now, elephant corridors were located by experts. There were several problems with this. Firstly, experts can’t go everywhere in a given region and secondly, they tend to choose corridors on the basis of their own experience.
Landscape ecology (ecology at the scale of a landscape), does not have these problems. Corridor evaluation is done automatically over an entire region. Large areas are covered in their entirety and there is no choice by anyone over where the corridors are detected.
If you observed maps with expert corridors, you would see a few corridors spread and sometimes it was be difficult to understand how they would work. It was the equivalent of describing blood circulation with some arteries here and some veins there. Landscape analysis on the contrary gives a full view of the entire system. Corridors form a network in and out of protected areas.
This kind of study is very important because it shows that a species’ life is not only individuals but also how these individuals CAN move to feed and reproduce. If corridors are not maintained or restored, small populations become separated and the chance of extinction is higher.
Please do not hesitate to ask information or advice (firstname.lastname@example.org) on elephant (or any other species) corridors.