SYLLABUS SECTION: GS III (ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY)
WHY IN THE NEWS?
The central government of India, for the first time this year, will present a unified count of the tiger, leopard, and Elephant and Tiger Survey populations of the country.
- Having a common survey can significantly save costs as 90% of the area occupied by elephants and tigers is common.
- The head count method or one currently deploy to count elephants was “obsolete” and frequently led to animals being double-count.
- The tiger survey is usually held once in four years and elephants are count once in five years.
- Since 2006, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), is affiliate to estimate tiger numbers.
- Based on sightings in camera traps and indirect estimation methods, tiger numbers are compute.
- In the most recent 2018-19 survey, there were 2,967 tigers in India.
- Elephant numbers are largely base on the States direct counting of the number of elephants.
- In recent years, techniques such as analyzing dung samples have also been deploy to estimate birth rates and population trends in elephants.
- In the last count of 2017, there were 29,964 elephants in India.
Conservation of Elephants:
- ‘Gaj Yatra’, a nationwide campaign to protect elephants, was launch on the occasion of World Elephant Day in 2017.
- The campaign is plan to cover 12 elephant range states.
- The campaign aims to create awareness about elephant corridors to encourage free movement in their habitat.
- Retaining elephants in their natural habitats by creating water sources and management of forest fires.
- Elephant Proof trenches in Tamil Nadu.
- Hanging fences and rubble walls in Karnataka.
- Use of chili smoke in north Bengal and playing the sound of bees or carnivores in Assam.
- Use of technology: Individual identification, monitoring of elephants in south Bengal, and sending SMS alerts to warn of elephant presence.
Private Organizations Effort:
- Asian Elephant Alliance, an umbrella initiative by five NGOs, had, last year, come together to secure 96 out of the 101 existing corridors used by elephants across 12 States in India.
- NGOs Elephant Family, International Fund for Animal Welfare, IUCN Netherlands, and World Land Trust have teamed up with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) in the alliance.
About Asian Elephants:
- Asian elephants are list as “endanger” on the IUCN Red List of threaten species.
- More than 60% of the world’s elephant population is in India.
- The elephant is the Natural Heritage Animal of India.
- The Asian elephant is list in CITES Appendix I.
- CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention) is a multilateral treaty to protect endanger plants and animals.
- It is a centrally sponsored scheme launched in February 1992.
- Aim: To provide financial and technical support to major elephant-bearing States in the country for the protection of elephants, their habitats, and corridors.
- It also seeks to address the issues of human-elephant conflict and the welfare of domesticated elephants.
- The Project is being implemented in 16 States / UTs, viz. Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
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Source: The Hindu