Elephants in India- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 3: Environment- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.
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.
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.
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.
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.