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Entire Village in India Relocates So Nature Can Move in

Entire Village in India Relocates So Nature Can Move in

Up until recently, the village of Ramdegi was a bustling farming community in central India’s Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. Today, the village’s human population stands at exactly zero, though its streets and fields are now teeming with a different kind of life.

As part of an ongoing effort to reduce human conflict with wildlife, the Indian government has been encouraging communities living in and around nature reserves to relocate for the sake of peaceful coexistence — and last month, everyone in Ramdegi did just that. Around 200 families agreed to accept incentive packages to move beyond the reserve’s borders, freeing the land to be reclaimed by the surrounding biodiversity.

It didn’t take long before the village, now completely void of people, to be filled anew. A little over four weeks after the last human departed, Ramdegi is now home to herds of bisons, deer, antelope and boars — grazing on the budding meadows that were once cropland and cattle farms.

Predators too, once reviled by villagers for killing their livestock, are returning to Ramdegi. According to the Times of India, even a tiger has been spotted prowling the grounds of the empty village, free from dangerous and often deadly conflicts with humans that have driven the species to ‘endangered’ status.

This is not the first time an entire village has moved out so nature could move in. Across India, nearly a hundred communities have already voluntarily relocated to widen tiger reserves, and dozens more are expected to follow suit in the years to come.

Human ingenuity may be unmatched in its ability to tame wild landscapes for our own ends — but as Earth’s other inhabitants struggle in the resulting wake, human capacity for compassion in making room for nature just might prove to be the greatest quality of all.


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Photo Credit: Rob Rybnikar

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129 comments

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11:13AM PDT on May 22, 2014

great news, thanks for sharing :)

6:54PM PST on Nov 17, 2013

Now let's do this in the US. Relocate america's ranchers and monoculture farmers to the middle of the ocean and tell them they're now in charge of "farming" seaweed as they're made to walk the plank

11:12AM PDT on Sep 28, 2013

Blessings to the Indian government for giving the villagers incentives to relocate, and Blessings to the villagers in the for relocating in the interest of Peaceful CoExistence. very inspiring!

4:43PM PDT on Sep 26, 2013

Doubt this would happen in ant of the so-called Developed countries...Europe and the US, for example. Kudos to India's governement for actually thinking of the wildlife. Now, if they would stop pulling down forests, destroying habitat, it would be great.

3:06AM PDT on Sep 26, 2013

Thanks for inspiring news

9:15AM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

About time too - humans have stolen too much of the planet for themselves. What happened here is great but really just a drop in the ocean in the worldwide scheme of things. Over 7 billion humans - the human population needs serious control - without it there just won't be room for any other species even our own!

5:08AM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

Wonderful news, thanks for sharing this

9:30PM PDT on Sep 23, 2013

amazing! it's nice to read something positive about humanity

8:04PM PDT on Sep 23, 2013

Maybe there is hope for humanity after all.

9:15PM PDT on Sep 22, 2013

Awesome article, thank you for sharing.

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