The government of India had notified a total of 32 Elephant Reserves in India ( Source MoEF). The total elephant population in India is 27312 ( Latest Census in 2017 ).
To mark the importance of Elephants -12 August is commemorated every year as World Elephant day globally.
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- Scientific name Elephas maximus
- The government of India in 2010 declared Elephant as the National heritage animal of India.
India has the largest number of wild Asian elephants in the whole world; the estimated population of Indian elephants is 27,312 according to the 2017 census, about 55% of the species’ global population. They range in 32 Elephant Reserves in India spread over ten elephant landscapes, covering about 65,270 sq km of forests in northeast, central, northwest and south India. But these reserves areas are not exclusive to Elephants because Elephant Reserves include areas of human use and habitation unless the Elephant Reserve lie inside an already protected Reserve Forest or the Protected Area network; Elephant Reserves in India are not legally protected habitats exclusively in themselves.
Indian elephants spend the maximum part of their day in feeding and they are great wanderers. They also produce lots of dung along their path, this helps to disperse germinating seeds. Indian elephants feed mainly on grasses, along with large amounts of tree bark, roots, leaves and small stems. Cultivated crops such as bananas, rice and sugarcane are favoured foods of Indian elephants. Since they need to drink at least once a day, they wander along a path that is always closer to a source of freshwater.
- Endangered in IUCN Red List
- Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
- Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES)
Elephants are keystone species. Asian and African Elephants are nearing extinction owing to illegal poaching for the high demand for ivory, tusks & other body parts; Now, there are roughly 28,000 elephants in India, with around 25 per cent of them in Karnataka.
Elephants among Mammals hold the record for the longest gestation period, and they have a pregnancy period of 22 months. This long pregnancy is necessary because elephants are so large and need time to grow a healthy calf. Elephants also have a very low reproductive rate, so it is important that each calf is given the best chance for survival. Females give birth to calves every four to five years. Elephant herds feature complicated social systems, are led by matriarchs, and are constituted of a group of adult females and calves, whereas male elephants choose to live in isolation or isolated bachelor groups.
Elephants Population in India
In 2017 a population of 27312 elephants has been estimated from 23 states in India.
The Indian elephant is mostly found in the following parts of India, in the central and southern Western Ghats, eastern India, northeast India and northern India and some parts of southern peninsular India.
In north India, Jharkhand has been a hotspot for elephants. However, in the last decade, an increase in illegal mining has posed new challenges to elephant freedom of movement.
Elephant Reserves in India 2021
|S. No||State||Polpulation of Elephants 2017||Elephant Reserve||Total Area (Sq. Km.)|
|Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong ER||3270|
|4||Tamil Nadu||2761||Nilgiri ER||4663|
|South Orissa ER||4216|
|7||Meghalaya||1754||Garo Hills ER||3500|
|8||Arunachal Pradesh||1614||Kameng ER||1892|
|South Arunachal ER||1957.5|
|9||West Bengal||682||Mayurjharna ER||414|
|Eastern Dooars ER||978|
|11||Chhattishgarh||247||Badalkhol - Tamorpingla ER||1048.3|
|12||Uttar Pradesh||232||Uttar Pradesh ER||744|
|13||Andhra Pradesh||65||Rayala ER||766|
|17||Andaman & Nicobars||19||----|
Elephant Reserves in India Map
Elephant corridor in India
As land for elephants is shrinking day by day the ‘elephant corridors’ becomes very important. As forest lands are continuously lost, these narrow, linear patches of forest and vegetation form the vital natural habitat linkages between larger forest patches. These elephants corridors provide the passage route for elephants to move between their secure habitats freely, without being disturbed by humans. Elephant corridors are also critical for other wildlife species including India’s endangered National Animal, the Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris) as they also utilise this path for their movements.
Elephant Corridor Definition
Elephant corridors can be explained as “narrow strips of land” that connect two significant elephants’ habitats. And these corridors are important for the movement of elephants and allow them to travel long distances in search of food and water. Without these corridors, the elephants would be forced to cross heavily populated areas, which could lead to conflict with humans. Elephant corridors also provide critical linkage between isolated populations, helping to maintain genetic diversity.
These corridors allow the elephants to move between areas, which is important for their survival because it gives them access to food, water, and mates. The corridors are also important for the health of the ecosystem because they help promote the movement of wildlife and the dispersal of seeds. Unfortunately, many of these corridors are under threat from development and poaching, so it is important to protect them.
The Wildlife Trust of India has identified 101 elephant corridors as part of the National Elephant Corridor project. These are Twenty in South India, 12 in India’s northwestern region, 20 in India’s central region, 14 in West Bengal, and 22 in India’s north-eastern region.
In order to maintain healthy elephant populations, it is crucial that they have access to a continuous network of corridors that allow them to move from one area to another. Unfortunately, these corridors are increasingly coming under threat from human development and activities.
Threats to Elephant Corridors
- Habitat fragmentation and destruction are caused by the development of buildings, roads, trains, vacation resorts, and solar-powered electric fencing, among other things.
- The two “single largest challenges” to elephant corridors in central India are coal mining and iron ore mining.
- Elephant ivory from the tusks is also precious; hence poaching is a big problem.
- Elephants require large grazing areas in short supply in most reserves. Elephants may seek food elsewhere if protected areas are not vast. All This frequently leads to confrontations with humans due to elephants raiding or destroying crops.
List of Elephant Corridor in India
Following is the List of Priority I Elephant Corridor in India. ( Source: Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Govt of India )
- Rawasan-Sonanadi (Via Landsdown)
- South Patlidun-Chilkiya
- Malani Kota
- Buxa-Ripu at Sankosh
North East India
- Pakke-Doimara at Dezling
- Pakke-Papum at Longka Nullah
- Kaziraiiga- Karbi Anglog at Panban
- Kaziraiiga- Karbi Anglong at Kanchanjuri
- Pakke-Doimara at Tipi
- Siju Rewak
- Anaimali at Punachi
- Anaimalai between Siluvaimedu-Kadamparai
- Chamranagar-Talamalai at Muddalialli
- Kalamali – Singara and Avarahalla
- Tirunelli – Kudrakote
- Anaimalai at Waterfalls Estate
- Project Elephant (PE) was launched by the Government of India in the year 1991-92 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the following objectives:
- To protect elephants, their habitat and corridors
- To address issues of man-elephant conflict
- Welfare of domesticated elephants
- Presently the Project Elephant is being implemented in 22 States/Uts.
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How many elephant reserves in India?
The government of India has notified 32 Elephant Reserves in India, spread over 10 elephant landscapes, covering about 65,270 Sq. Km. of forest area.
Which state has maximum elephant reserve in India?
Both Assam and Odisha both have the maximum number of Elephant Reserve in India with 5 reserves in each.
Which state has highest number of elephants in India 2020 UPSC?
Karnataka with 6049 Elephants as per Census 0f 2017 has the highest number of Elephants in India.
How many elephants are there in India?
There are 27,312 elephants in India according to the latest Census of 2017 by the Government of India.
Are elephants increasing in India?
No, as per the latest census in 2017 the total number of Elephants in India declined from 27,785 in 2012 to 27,312.
Elephant Reserves in India Map
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