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Killing of Elephants in India

Elephants in India- Relevance for UPSC Exam

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

Common Survey to Count Elephants and Tigers


Elephants in India- Context

  • According to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, a whopping 1,160 elephants were killed in the country due to reasons other than natural causes in the past 10 years up to December 31, 2020.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India


Killing of Elephants in India- Key Findings

  • Causes of Elephant Deaths: While electrocution claimed the lives of 741 elephants, train hits led to the death of 186 pachyderms, followed by poaching – 169, and poisoning – 64.
  • State-wise elephant deaths due to Electrocution: Karnataka and Odisha lost 133 elephants each due to electrocution during the period and Assam reported 129 deaths.
  • State-wise elephant deaths due to train hits: Among elephant casualties due to train hits, Assam stood first with 62 deaths, followed by West Bengal at 57.
  • State-wise elephant deaths due to poaching: A total of 169 mammals were killed by poachers in the 10 years and Odisha reported the highest – 49 deaths, followed by Kerala 23.
  • State-wise elephant deaths due to Poisoning: Assam reported the highest number of elephants poisoned – 32, and Odisha stood second with 15 deaths.

Dugong Conservation Centre


Elephants in India- Distribution of Elephants in India

  • Region-wise Population of Elephants in India:
    • The southern region comprising Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra accounted for the highest population 14,612 elephants.
    • The north-east region comprising Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland, the north region of West Bengal, Manipur and Mizoram stood second with 10,139 elephants.
  • State-wise Distribution Of elephants in India: Karnataka – 6,049, Assam – 5,719, Kerala – 5,706, and Tamil Nadu – 2,761 were the top four states that had the highest number of elephants.

National Multidimensional Poverty Index


Elephants Protection in India- Steps taken by Government

  • Permanent Coordination Committee: has been constituted between the Ministry of Railways and the MoEFCC for preventing elephant deaths due to train hits.
  • Critical elephant habitats: are notified as ‘elephant reserve’ for focus and synergy in elephant conservation and to reduce conflict.
    • A total of 30 elephant reserves have been established in 14 major elephant States.
  • Provision of Compensation: compensation is provided to local communities for loss of property and life caused by wild elephants with the aim to reduce man-elephant conflict and to avoid retaliatory killing of elephants.
  • Guidelines for the management of human-elephant conflict, 2017: It had been issued by the Ministry and elephant range States had been requested to implement the same.
  • ‘Project Elephant’ scheme: provides financial and technical assistance were provided to elephant range States to protect elephants, their habitat and corridors to address issues of man-elephant conflict and welfare of captive elephants.

Common Survey to Count Elephants and Tigers


Common Survey to Count Elephants and Tigers

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