Wildlife corridors in india: Viable legal tools for species conservation?

Wildlife corridors, used by various species to migrate, breed and feed, are increasingly becoming relevant as essential tools for wildlife conservation. Rapid increase in industrial and infrastructural development, especially around forests, has resulted in widespread habitat fragmentation and isolation. Added to this, the growing development (for tourism, linear infrastructure etc.) around protected areas, and the altered de facto boundaries of these, have exacerbated this need. There is, however, no ‘hard’ statutory recognition afforded in India to wildlife corridors in spite of their established relevance in ecological conservation. Nor is there a strict prohibition on development within, and around important corridors in India. Even so, wildlife corridors have found passing mention in certain conservation law and guidelines framed thereunder, which seek to protect wildlife habitat and reduce human – wildlife conflict. These extant legal spaces have largely proved ineffective in the protection and conservation of corridors, and corridor protection and management continues to be a dormant legal space in India. This paper seeks to analyse the various barriers to corridor conservation and management, and whether the existing legal measures are underutilised in providing legal protection to wildlife corridors, without the need of a parallel institutional framework. Through an understanding of the criticality of corridors to wildlife conservation, the adequacy of existing legal structures has been examined by the authors, and recommendations made for augmenting the current legal framework with more concrete strategies.
Peer-reviewed article
Srivastava, R., & Tyagi, R.
Environmental Law Review

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