World Media

India's elephant population decreases by 10% to 27312

India's elephant population decreases by 10% to 27312

The indirect method includes estimation through elephant dung analysis.

Releasing the Census, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan urged the people to prepare a strategy for a more even distribution of the elephant population in all the states of the country. "African elephants are listed as vulnerable and Asian elephants as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List and this is a threat to elephant population in India", explains wildlife biologist Dr A. Kumaraguru of Sathyamangalam Tiger Conservation Foundation.

Techniques like direct count, indirect count, waterhole methods and elephant distribution mapping were used for the estimation.

With 60 per cent of the Asian elephant population, India is home to a total of 27,312 free-ranging megaherbivores, an official said here on Saturday on the occasion of the release of a census report to mark the World Elephant Day.

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Karnataka with 6049 elephants tops the list among 23 census states followed by Assam having 5,719, Kerala with 3054 and Tamil Nadu having 2761 pachyderms. According to this census prepared by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change by direct block count method during March-May 2017, there are 10,139 elephants in India's northeast region, 3,128 in east-central region, 2,085 in northwest and 11,960 in the southern region.

He also launched a nationwide campaign, "Gaj Yatra", to protect elephants, which will cover 12 elephant range states.

He also called for a broader base movement for conservation of elephants. This prompted elephant expert Raman Sukumar to say on Saturday: "If I do a comparison with 2012 figures, then we have a stable population". "It will be helpful in effective planning of various issues relating to elephant conservation in the country", he added.

At present, there are 29 elephant reserves across India, covering over 65,000 sq.km.

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"The goal of the World Elephant Day is to create awareness of the urgent plight of African and Asian elephants and to share knowledge and positive solutions for the better care and management of captive and wild elephants". And for the year 2016-17, the government enhanced the rate of compensation amount to be paid for damages caused to properties and human death by wildlife, particularly elephants.

Governments, both at the centre and in the states, have been making efforts to address the issue, but due to the huge pressure for development, natural habitats have suffered.

"Elephants should not be confined to only few regions of few states...they must spread..."

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