Elephant reserves in India

Master Complete 33 Elephant Reserves in India 2023 [MAP]

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33 elephant reserves in India

The government of India had notified a total of 33 Elephant Reserves in India. 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

There are 33 elephant reserves in India. Dandeli Elephant Reserve in Karnataka, Singphan Elephant Reserve in Nagaland, Agasthiyamalai Elephant Reserve in Tamil Nadu and Terai Elephant Reserve (Uttar Pradesh) are the most recent additions to India’s Elephant Reserves. This brings the total territory under Elephant Reserves in India to around 76,508 square kilometres spread across 14 states.

Elephant Reserves in India


Elephants are classified into three species: African bush elephants, African forest elephants, and Asian elephants.

Asian Elephants

  • Asian elephants are classified into three subspecies: Indian, Sumatran, and Sri Lankan.
  • The Indian subspecies have the largest range and account for the majority of the continent’s surviving elephants.
  • Global population: 20,000 to 40,000.
  • Endangered according to the IUCN Red List.
  • Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.
  • Appendix I of CITES

African Elephants

  • The Savanna (or bush) elephant and the Forest elephant are two subspecies of African elephants.
  • Global Population: Around 4,00,000.
  • Protection Status: IUCN Red List Status:
  • African Savanna Elephant: Endangered.
  • African Forest Elephant: Critically Endangered
  • CITES: Appendix II


Year 2020. With reference to Indian elephants, consider the following statements:
1. The leader of an elephant group is a female
2. The maximum gestation period can be 22 months
3. An elephant can normally go on calving till the age of 40 years only
4. Among the States in India, the highest elephant population is in Kerala
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 4 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 3 and 4 only

Answer at the end of the article.

Latest Elephant Reserves in India

  • 33rd elephant reserve -Terai Elephant Reserve (Uttar Pradesh)
  • 32nd elephant reserve – Agasthyamalai Elephant Reserve (Tamil Nadu)
  • 31st elephant reserve – Lemru Elephant Reserve (Chhattisgarh)

Terai Elephant Reserve

Elephant Reserves in India- The Terai Elephant Reserve will be developed in Uttar Pradesh’s Dudhwa-Pilibhit district, covering an area of 3,049 square kilometres. The reserve will be India’s 33rd elephant reserve. It will take place in the Dudhwa and Piliphit tiger reserves, conserving tigers, Asian elephants, swamp deer, and one-horned rhinoceros. It is the third elephant reserve approved by the Union Environment Ministry under Project Elephant in the last three months. Lemru in Chhattisgarh and Agasthymalai in Tamil Nadu are the other two.

The establishment of the new elephant reserve will aid in the conservation of elephant populations’ transboundary movement. It will assist in defending the nearby communities in Uttar Pradesh’s Indo-Nepal border area. It will also aid in the maintenance of grasslands and elephant corridors in the tiger reserves of Dudhwa and Piliphit.

Lemru Elephant Reserve

Elephant Reserves in India – Lemru Elephant Reserve is in Chhattisgarh’s Korba district. The reserve area is part of the Hasdeo Aranya forests, a complex ecosystem rich in coal resources.

Agasthiyamalai Elephant reserve

  • The Agasthiyamalai Elephant Reserve in Tamil Nadu is a protected area of 1197 square kilometres devoted to preserving and conserving elephants in India.
  • The number of Asian elephants in the Periyar-Agasthyamalai area is approximately to be 1,800. (Census 2010).
  • Around 300 of them can be found alone on the southern side of the Agasthiyarmalai Elephant Reserve and the Mahendragiri hill ranges in the Neyyar, Shendurney, and Peppara Wildlife Sanctuaries, as well as the Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, all of which are located in the Thiruvananthapuram Forest Division.
  • To the south, the elephant population is housed in the Periyar-Agasthyamalai area, which encompasses 5,600 square kilometres and 16 forest divisions in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  • The elephant habitat in the landscape includes the southern section of the Periyar Plateau and its eastern spur, the Varushnad and Meghamalai hill ranges, the Achankoil valley, and the Agasthiyarmalai Elephant Reserve and Mahendragiri hill range on the southern side.
  • It has the potential to link populations in the Srivilliputhur Meghamalai Tiger Reserve and the Periyar ecosystems.
Elephant reserves in India
Elephant reserves in India


  • 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 31 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.

Conservation status

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

Benifits of Elephants for the Ecosystem

Elephants play important roles in the ecosystems in which they live. Here are a few benefits of elephants for ecosystems:

  1. Elephants help to disperse seeds from the fruits they eat, which can help to regenerate forests and promote plant diversity.
  2. Elephants dig waterholes and create trails, which can be used by other animals and can help to increase the connectivity of different parts of the ecosystem.
  3. Elephants can also create habitats for other species by breaking branches and creating clearings in forests.
  4. Elephants play a key role in maintaining the balance of ecosystems by helping to control the population size of other species, such as by preying on young or weak individuals.
  5. Elephants can also help to control the spread of fires by trampling and breaking up dry grass and vegetation.
  6. The presence of elephants can also attract tourists and provide economic benefits for local communities through eco-tourism.

Social Life

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.

elephant population in india
elephant population 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.

31 Elephant Reserves in India

S.NoElephant ReserveStateDate of notification
1Rayala ERAndhra Pradesh9.12.2003
2Kameng ERArunachal Pradesh19.6.2002
3South Arunachal ERArunachal Pradesh29.2.2008
4Sonitpur ERAssam6.3.2003
5Dihing-Patkai ERAssam17.4.2003
6Kaziranga - Karbi Anglong ERAssam17.4.2003
7Dhansiri Lungding ERAssam19.4.2003
8Chirang-Ripu ERAssam7.3.2003
9Badalkhol - tamorpingla ERChhattisgarh15.9.2011
10Singhbhum ERJharkhand26.9.2001
11Mysore ERKarnataka25.11.2002
12Dandeli ERKarnataka26.3.2015
13Wayanad ERKerala2.4.2002
14Nilambur ERKerala2.4.2002
15Anamudi ERKerala2.4.2002
16Periyar ERKerala2.4.2002
17Garo Hills ERMeghalaya31.10.2001
18Intanki ERNagaland28.2.2005
19Singphan ERNagaland16.8.2018
20Mayurbhanj EROdisha29.9.2001
21Mahanadi EROdisha20.7.2002
22Sambalpur EROdisha27.3.2002
23Nilgiri ERTamil nadu19.9.2003
24Agasthiyamalai ERTamil Nadu12.08.2022
25Coimbatore ERTamilnadu19.9.2003
26Anamalai ERTamilnadu19.9.2003
27Srivilliputtur ERTamilnadu19.9.2003
28Uttar Pradesh ERU.P.9.9.2009
29Shivalik ERUttarakhand28.10.2002
30Mayurjharna ERW. Bengal24.10.2002
31Eastern Dooars ERW. Bengal28.8.2002

Elephant Reserves in India Map

Elephant reserves in India
Elephant reserves in India

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.
  • Poaching has become more severe.
  • Loss of habitat.
  • Elephant-human conflict
  • Captive mistreatment.
  • Elephant tourism has resulted in abuse.
  • Corridor damage, rampant mining

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 )

Northern India

  1. Chilla-Motichur
  2. Rawasan-Sonanadi (Via Landsdown)
  3. South Patlidun-Chilkiya
  4. Malani Kota

Central India

  1. Smilipal-Satkosia
  2. Baula-Kuldhia
  3. Kotgarh-Chandrapur
  4. Buxa-Ripu at Sankosh
  5. Ankua-Ambia

North East India

  1. Pakke-Doimara at Dezling
  2. Pakke-Papum at Longka Nullah
  3. Kalapahar-Daigurung
  4. Kaziraiiga- Karbi Anglog at Panban
  5. Kaziraiiga- Karbi Anglong at Kanchanjuri
  6. Pakke-Doimara at Tipi
  7. Baghmara-Balpakram
  8. Siju Rewak

Southern India

  1. Edayarhalli-Doddasampige
  2. Kaniyanpura-Moyar
  3. Anaimali at Punachi
  4. Anaimalai between Siluvaimedu-Kadamparai
  5. Chamranagar-Talamalai at Muddalialli
  6. Kalamali – Singara and Avarahalla
  7. Moyar-Avarahalla
  8. Tirunelli – Kudrakote
  9. Buoolavampatti-Attapadi
  10. Anaimalai at Waterfalls Estate

Steps Taken for Conservation of Elephants

  • Elephant reserves in India have been declared and established across the states.
  • Cleaning up lantana and eupatorium (invasive species) because they restrict grass from growing for elephants to eat.
  • Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) is an international cooperation that records trends in information linked to the illegal killing of elephants from throughout Africa and Asia to assess the success of field conservation activities. It was launched in 2003.
  • Barricades to keep man and elephant apart.
  • Measures to build a cell to research forest fire prevention.

Project Elephant

  • It is a Centrally funded programme that began in February 1992 to safeguard elephants, their habitats, and corridors.  Through the programme, the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change offer financial and technical assistance to the country’s primary elephant range states.
  • 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.

How many elephant reserves in India?

The government of India has notified 31 Elephant Reserves in India, spread over 10 elephant landscapes.

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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Year 2020. With reference to Indian elephants, consider the following statements:

  1. The leader of an elephant group is a female
  2. The maximum gestation period can be 22 months
  3. An elephant can normally go on calving till the age of 40 years only
  4. Among the States in India, the highest elephant population is in Kerala

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • (a) 1 and 2 only
  • (b) 2 and 4 only
  • (c) 3 only
  • (d) 1, 3 and 4 only

Correct Ans (A): 1 and 2 only

  • The head of an elephant pack is the oldest female. She leads the group in pursuit of food and water. Thus statement 1 is true.
  • The gestation period of an Elephant is almost 22 months which yields a single baby. During birth, females of the pack encircle the mother for her safety. Thus statement 2 is correct.
  • The average life expectancy of an elephant is 70 years, and at 18 years, its adultness starts. Thus statement 3 is incorrect.
  • South Indian states dominate in having several elephants. Among the south Indian states, Karnataka leads with 6,049 elephants, and then KeralaThus statement 4 is incorrect.

In conclusion, elephant reserves in India are important for many reasons. They provide a safe haven for elephants, help to preserve the species, and offer visitors a unique opportunity to see these magnificent animals in their natural habitat. With proper management and funding, these reserves can continue to play a vital role in the conservation of elephants for generations to come.

unesco world heritage sites
unesco world heritage sites

Checkout the Latest 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.

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