Common Survey to Count Elephants and Tigers_00.1
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Common Survey to Count Elephants and Tigers

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  • GS Paper 3: Environment: Conservation, environmental pollution, and degradation.

Common Survey to Count Elephants and Tigers_50.1

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Context

  • Minister of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change has recently informed that India will move to a system that will count tigers and elephants as part of a common survey.
    • All-India elephant and tiger population estimation will be adopted in 2022.
  • Note: Elephant is the National Heritage Animal of India and Bengal Tiger is the National Animal of India.

Wetland Ecosystem: Importance, Concerns and Conservation Measure

 

Key points

  • Benefits of conducting a common survey:
    • Common habitat: Around 90% of the area occupied by elephants and tigers is common. Hence, a common survey has the potential to significantly save costs.
    • It will improve and harmonize the population estimation methods along more scientific lines in various states across India.
  • Present method of conducting a survey: The tiger survey is usually held once in four years and elephants are counted once in five years.
    • Tiger survey: conducted based on methods derived by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun in 2006.
      • Tiger numbers are counted bases on sightings in camera traps and indirect estimation methods.
    • Elephant survey: largely rely on States directly counting the number of elephants.
      • Recent advancement in techniques: In recent years, dung samples have also been analyzed to estimate birth rates and population trends in elephants.
  • Population of elephants and tigers: as per the latest Tiger survey 2018-19, there were 2,997 tigers in India. According to the last count in 2017, there were 29,964 elephants in India.
    • More than 60% of the world’s elephant population is in India.
  • Protection status of Asian Elephants:
    • listed as “endangered” on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
    • It has also been included in Appendix I of the UN Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) at the 13th Conference of the Parties (COP) to CMS in Gandhinagar (Gujarat).
    • listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
    • Listed in the Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

 

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