Valparai Plateau

Valparai Plateau

Context: The place is in news due to significant movement of elephants in its course of annual migration towards the plateau.

• The Valparai plateau is a hill station in the Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu, India. It’s nestled amidst the majestic Anamalai hills/Anamalai Tiger reserve of the Western Ghats.
• The terrain of the plateau is gently undulating, making it suitable for the movement of elephants from one forest patch to another within the tea estates.

Conservation and awareness initiatives:
• Residents of the plateau and estate workers have learned to avoid negative interactions with the elephants, and the last human death due to an elephant attack in the plateau was reported in June 2021.
• The Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) has been documenting elephant migration in the Valparai plateau since 2002. They have identified crucial habitats such as riverine forests and fragments, and helped pinpoint locations and seasons of conflict. The NCF also sends alerts on elephant movement to people based on these data.
• The measures in place in the Valparai landscape have helped reduce the incidence of damages to buildings, bring down the number of human and elephant deaths in the landscape, and continue to facilitate the movement of elephants. This shows the significant role that the Valparai plateau plays in the context of elephant migration.

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