Many of WWF’s priority species are large ranging and require vast connected habitats to persist in the wild. Asian species such as tigers, elephants, snow leopards, rhinos and pandas exist in very crowded landscapes, increasingly fragmented due to commodities expansion, transport network expansion, logging and extractive industries, and an expanding agricultural estate. These large ranging species are increasingly limited to small protected areas surrounded by human-dominated landscapes, limiting their dispersal. If corridors and connectivity is lost, landscapes become fragmented, species dispersal becomes limited or ceases, and ecological systems can begin to break down.
How are we addressing this? Do we know where the corridors are that need protecting? How do we know if species are using the corridors or not? What policies need to be in place to ensure corridors are critical components in economic planning? How should we work with communities and the commodities sectors to maintain connectivity? Are there emerging fields in connectivity conservation that we need to be considering? Are there examples of long term corridor programs that have stemmed the tide of economic encroachment on corridors?
All these questions will be explored at the WWF India and Tigers Alive hosted –Corridors and Connectivity workshop, at WWF India Delhi, 7-9th May.
We are bringing together: WWF corridor focal points and innovators from across snow leopard, panda, elephant, rhino and tiger landscapes; IUCN Connectivity Specialist Group members; and the leading thinkers and decision makers from some of India’s premier institutions and government agencies tackling the connectivity challenge.
The workshop is structured thematically, with brief targeted presentations that showcase various innovations, challenges and successes. Lessons are then distilled in discussion labs with ideas fed into the subsequent thematic sessions and culminating in a ‘call to action’ for connectivity across our Asian species landscapes.
The themes and overview of the workshop are as follows: