CONNECTIVITY WORKING GROUP
Bagh Chaal - Traversing the heart of India
Tigers like many other wildlife species move through corridors for their healthy populations to thrive in India. As they walk from one protected area to another, they must cross everything that comes in between.
But how can these animals move safely through human-dominated landscapes? Can infrastructure development be designed to meet the needs of tigers and development?
This illustrative map highlights the corridors critical for connectivity in the Central Indian Landscape based on the NCCI led scientific consensus study. It also highlights the challenges for those living and working in these corridors.
You can have your own copy of the poster by writing to us at ConservingCentralIndia@gmail.com
NCCI's Connectivity Working Group originated at CILS3 in Melghat in 2019 to synthesize spatial agreement across multiple tiger connectivity studies to aid complicated on-ground management.
BaghChaal - is the outreach campaign from NCCI led scientific study that created and drew inferences for management from the consensus connectivity areas (CCAs) in central india.
SYNTHESIS JOURNAL ARTICLE
Schoen, J. M., Neelakantan, A., Cushman, S. A., Dutta, T., Habib, B., Jhala, Y. V., ... & DeFries, R. (2022).
Synthesizing habitat connectivity analyses of a globally important human‐dominated tiger‐conservation landscape. Conservation Biology, 36(4), e13909.
As ecological data and associated analyses become more widely available, synthesizing results for effective communication with stakeholders is essential. In the case of wildlife corridors, managers in human-dominated landscapes need to identify both the locations of corridors and multiple stakeholders for effective oversight. We synthesized five independent studies of tiger (Panthera tigris) connectivity in central India, a global priority landscape for tiger conservation, to quantify agreement on landscape permeability for tiger movement and potential movement pathways. We used the latter analysis to identify connectivity areas on which studies agreed and stakeholders associated with these areas to determine relevant participants in corridor management. Three or more of the five studies' resistance layers agreed in 63% of the study area. Areas in which all studies agree on resistance were of primarily low (66%, e.g., forest) and high (24%, e.g., urban) resistance. Agreement was lower in intermediate resistance areas (e.g., agriculture). Despite these differences, the studies largely agreed on areas with high levels of potential movement: >40% of high average (top 20%) current-flow pixels were also in the top 20% of current-flow agreement pixels (measured by low variation), indicating consensus connectivity areas (CCAs) as conservation priorities. Roughly 70% of the CCAs fell within village administrative boundaries, and 100% overlapped forest department management boundaries, suggesting that people live and use forests within these priority areas. Over 16% of total CCAs' area was within 1 km of linear infrastructure (437 road, 170 railway, 179 transmission line, and 339 canal crossings; 105 mines within 1 km of CCAs). In 2019, 78% of forest land diversions for infrastructure and mining in Madhya Pradesh (which comprises most of the study region) took place in districts with CCAs. Acute competition for land in this landscape with globally important wildlife corridors calls for an effective co-management strategy involving local communities, forest departments, and infrastructure planners.