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    Amur Falcon

    News: Siberian visitors freeze Assam-Meghalaya border dispute.
    Source: The Hindu

    Scientific name: Falco amurensis

    Breeds in South-east Russia and northern China.

    Migrates west through India and across the Arabian Sea to Southern Africa

    Feeds on dragonflies that follow a similar migration path over Arabian Sea.

    22,000 km journey (longest sea crossing of any raptor)

    Flyway: East-Asian Australasian and African Eurasian

    Population of more than 1,000,000 breeding individuals

    IUCN Red List Status : Least Concern

    Main Threats:

    Over harvesting from trapping

    Habitat loss from grassland degradation


    Elephant Coridors

    News: Crime Branch to probe elephants’ deaths.
    Source: The Hindu

    Elephant corridors are narrow strips of land that allow elephants to move from one habitat patch to another.

    Elephant herds are known to migrate across 350-500 sq. km. annually but increasingly fragmented landscapes are driving the giant mammals more frequently into human-dominated areas, giving rise to more man-animal conflicts, experts have found. Maintaining elephant corridors is therefore of crucial importance to both elephant and human habitats.

    Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) in collaboration with Project Elephant and the U.K.-based NGO Elephant Family, identifies and records details pertaining to 101 elephant corridors across India.

    Of these 101 corridors, 28 are located in south India, 25 in central India, 23 in northeastern India, 14 in northern West Bengal and 11 in northwestern India.

    In terms of their functionality or usage by elephants, almost 70% of the 101 corridors are regularly used, 25% are occasionally used, and 6% rarely. Almost all elephant corridors in south India (93%) and northern West Bengal (86%) are regularly used; 66% of corridors are regularly used in northeastern India.

    the highest number of corridors are located in northern West Bengal, which has one corridor for every 150 sq. km. of available elephant habitat, resulting in heightened human animal conflict and an average of 48-50 human deaths every year. This is followed by northwestern India, which has one corridor for every 500 sq. km. of available elephant habitat. Central India comes next with one corridor for every 840 sq. km.

    Moreover, two in every three elephant corridors in the country are now affected by agricultural activities, the study points out, adding that 58.4% corridors fall under settled cultivation and 10.9% under jhum (slash and burn) cultivation.