Protecting Elephants in India

Posted: March 23, 2013 in Current affairs
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Elephants are social beings living in a matriarchal society and caring for their young ones in the same way as humans do. The Indian sub-continent is considered to be the last remaining stronghold of the Asian elephants. With more than 26,000 elephants, it is home to more than half the global Asian elephant population in the wild. Valuing the important niche that elephant has come to occupy in the socio-cultural milieu of the Indian society, the government has accorded it the status of the ‘National Heritage Animal’ and has undertaken several conservation Measures. Despite best efforts of the government, the society and the people at large, elephant conservation still remains an uphill task

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Major Threats to Elephants:

 

• Habitat loss, and fragmentation and degradation of elephant habitat
• Illegal killing (for Ivory Trade), train accidents (Safety measures are introduced in Railway Budget 2013), and electrocution etc.
• Human-elephant conflict

Project Elephant:

Project Elephant (PE) was launched by the Government of India in the year 1991-92 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with following objectives :

  • To protect elephants, their habitat & corridors
  • To address issues of man-animal conflict
  • Welfare of domesticated elephants

Under this project, Financial and technical support are being provided to major elephant bearing States and UTs (Andaman and Nicobar) in India.

Main activities under the Project are:

  • Ecological restoration of existing natural habitats and migratory routes of elephants;
  • Development of scientific and planned management for conservation of elephant habitats and viable population of Wild Asiatic elephants in India;
  • Promotion of measures for mitigation of man elephant conflict in crucial habitats and moderating pressures of human and domestic stock activities in crucial elephant habitats;
  • Strengthening of measures for protection of Wild elephants form poachers and unnatural causes of death;
  • Research on Elephant management related issues;
  • Public education and awareness programs
  • Eco-develoment
  • Veterinary care

Elephant Reserves:

Sighbhum Elephant Reserve in Jharkhand was the first reserve to be notified in the
country in the year 2001 and since then 32 Elephant Reserves (ERs). Kerala has highest number of protected Elephant Reserves

Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) Programme

Mandated by COP resolution of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) , Project Elephant has been formally implementing MIKE Programs in the Elephant Reserves. MIKE aims to measure levels and trends in the illegal hunting of elephants and to determine changes in these trends over time

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