Migration corridor invasion in Sri Lanka

National parks vary in size greatly across the world. Many national parks in Africa can cover thousands of square miles, unfortunately this is not the case in match of Asia.

Small reserves are not capable of sustaining as a significant population of large predators or large herbivores. In countries like India and Sri Lanka, therefore, migration corridors between protected zones are left free allowing animals to transverse the gap between them and to operate as one mega population.

Many of these reserves are so small that without these migration corridors the populations would likely die out in a relatively short period of time.

Migration corridors between small reserves make the reserves viable. Therefore, invasion of these corridors threaten the future of the whole reserve

This is why the current invasion of the Dahaiyagala Wildlife Sanctuary in Sri Lanka can be so damaging. This wild Life sanctuary links and number of essential areas of elephant habitat, but without the connection all these populations are at severe risk of disappearing.

Udawalawe national park is the country second most visited, so is essential for the tourism revenue that comes into the country. Yet this is the the elephant population that is put it risk buy this invasion. Of course the other problem with this invasion, is that it greatly increases the likelihood of substantial conflict between elephants and humans as they will continue to try to take the same route despite the blockage now in the way.

About 300 farmers had invaded, after rumours had circulated that the area was about to get delisted. Although they were successfully removed, some of the land was cleared first.

The migration corridor is also essential for the long-term survival of the areas leopards and samber deer.

The park generates millions of dollars of revenue each year and so is an essential economic revenue stream in the area.

Estimates are that least 10,000 local people rely on the park as their primary source of income. As such it seems quite astounding me selfish that the desire 300 people to steal this land might threaten the incomes of such a large group.

Given the issue is so clear-cut you would hope the authorities will stop this happening again but it does not seem that they are willing to take strong actions to stop this group from damaging the environment, and destroying the livelihoods of many of their neighbours.

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