|Elephant conservation overview|
|Parent department||Ministry of Environment and Forests|
|Wildlife of India|
Project Elephant was launched in 1992 by the Government of India Ministry of Environment and Forests to provide financial and technical support to wildlife management efforts by states for their free-ranging populations of wild Asian Elephants. The project aims to ensure the long-term survival of the population of elephants in their natural habitats by protecting them, their habitats and migration corridors. Other goals of Project Elephant are supporting the research of the ecology and management of elephants, creating awareness of conservation among local people, and providing improved veterinary care for captive elephants.
Aims Project Elephant (PE) was launched by the Government of India in the year 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with following objectives:
Financial support is being provided to major elephant bearing States in the country. The Project is being mainly implemented in 16 States / UTs, viz. Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal. Main activities under the Project are as follows:
Further information: List of Indian states by elephant population
As of 2010, 32 Elephant Reserves (ERs) extending over about 58,000 square kilometres (22,000 sq mi) have been formally notified by various State Governments. The list of Elephant Reserves with area and elephant population is as follows:
|S.No.||Reserve Name||Range||Estd.||State||Total area (km²)||Population|
|13||South Arunachal||Eastern-South||Arunachal Pradesh||900+||129|
|17||Chirang-Ripu||North Bengal-Greater Manas||2003||Assam||2,600||658|
|18||Eastern Dooars||North Bengal-Greater Manas||2002||West Bengal||978||300-350|
|23||Nilgiri||Brahmagiri-Nilgiri-Eastern Ghats||2003||Tamil Nadu||4,663||2,862|
|24||Rayala||Brahmagiri-Nilgiri-Eastern Ghats||2003||Andhra Pradesh||766||12|
|26||Coimbatore||Brahmagiri-Nilgiri-Eastern Ghats||2003||Tamil Nadu||566||329|
|27||Anamalai||Anamalai-Nelliampathy-High Range||2003||Tamil Nadu||1,457||179|
|32||Uttar Pradesh||North-Western||2009||Uttar Pradesh||744|
The first exclusive exercise for enumeration of wild elephants in the ERs was conducted during February to May 2005. This exercise also sought to experiment with two sampling methods, viz. Block sampling and Line transect-Dung Count. PE arranged for training of trainers and also issued detailed guidelines to the chief wildlife wardens and the field coordinators. Total population of elephants in 2005 was nearly 21,200. The latest census carried out in 2012 put elephant numbers between 28,785and 31,368.
Project Elephant has been formally implementing MIKE (Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants) programme of CITES in 10 ERs since January 2004. It is mandated by COP resolution of CITES. Project Elephant was started in South Asia in 2003 with the following purposes:
Data are collected from all sites on monthly basis in specified MIKE patrol form and submitted to Sub-Regional Support Office for South Asia Programme in Delhi who are assisting Ministry in implementation of the programme.
PE did a 36-months research (2003-04 to 2006-07) with the help of the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack, for developing high yielding varieties of paddy not relished by elephants; developing elephant-proof storage bins for food grains; and developing elephant repellents. The project is being carried out at the CRRI's research stations in Orissa and Assam. Two projects (2003-04 to 2006-07) with the help of the Assam Agricultural University on "Disease management in captive elephants" and "Anatomical studies on the Asian elephant" were conducted. PE entrusted WII with a small project (2004-05 to 2005-06) to study the impact of the relocation of the Gujjar on the flora and fauna of Rajaji National Park and with the Indian Statistical Institute helped the West Bengal Forest Department carry out a sample-based enumeration of elephants during 2005.
PE has also imbibed the use of eco-tourism for generating extra revenue for the welfare of captive breeding programmes for elephants. PE has been organizing regular refresher courses for veterinarians dealing with wild and domesticated elephants at Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur and Assam Agricultural University, Guwahati. PE has initiated a programme for registration of domesticated elephants by using microchips. More than 1000 elephants have been microchipped so far in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar and Delhi etc. PE has organized necessary training for this purpose and also arranged for supply of standard microchips and readers to all the States known to possess domesticated elephants.