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Project Elephant was launched in 1992 by the Government of India Ministry of Environment and Forests to provide financial and technical support of wildlife management efforts by states for their free ranging populations of wild Asian Elephants. The project aims to ensure long term survival of viable conservation reliant populations of elephants in their natural habitats by protecting the elephants, their habitats and migration corridors. Other goals of Project Elephant are supporting research of the ecology and management of elephants, creating conservation awareness among local people, providing improved veterinary care for captive elephants . Project Elephant (PE), a centrally sponsored scheme, was launched in February 1992 to provide financial and technical support to major elephant bearing States in the country for protection of elephants, their habitats and corridors. It also seeks to address the issues of human-elephant conflict and welfare of domesticated elephants. The Project is being implemented in 13 States / UTs, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal The initial modest Plan Outlay of Rs 23 crores in the 8th Plan was enhanced to Rs 60 crores in the 10th Plan.
The main goals of the Project are as follows:
- Ecological restoration of existing natural habitats and migratory routes of elephants.
- In 2007, there were a total of 110000|km2 of elephant habitat of which 24580 km2 were in 64 protected areas. |year=2007|work=Project Elephant|publisher=Ministry of environment and Forests|
- There were 138 intra-state corridors, 28 inter-state corridors and 17 international corridors-23}
- Development of scientific management planning for conservation of elephant habitats and viable elephant populations in India;
- Promotion of measures for mitigation of man elephant conflict in crucial habitats;
- Moderating impact of human and domestic stock activities in crucial elephant habitats;
- Strengthening of measures for protection of wild elephants from poachers and unnatural causes of death;
- Research on Elephant management related issues;
- Increase public conservation education and awareness programs about elephants;
- Eco-development of elephant habitats;
- Provide improved veterinary care for elephants.
- To have more tusked elephants.
25 Elephant Reserves (ERs) extending over about 58,000 square kilometres (22,000 sq mi) have been formally notified by various State Governments till now and consent for establishment of Baitarini ER & South Orissa in Orissa and Ganga-Jamuna (Shiwalik) ER in U.P has been accorded by MOEF. The concerned State Governments are yet to notify these ERs. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary will be accorded Project Elephant status in financial year 2010/11. The list of Elephant Reserves with area and elephant population is as follows:
|Range||Reserve Name||Date of notification||State||Total area (km²)||Population 2005||Population 2002|
|1||I Eastern India||Mayurjharna ER||(24.10.02)||W. Bengal||414||96||56|
|2||I Eastern India||Singhbhum ER||(26.9.01)||Jharkhand||4,530||371||300|
|3||I Eastern India||Mayurbhanj ER||(29.9.01)||Orissa||3,214||465||512|
|4||I Eastern India||Mahanadi ER||(20.7.02)||Orissa||1,038||464||204|
|5||I Eastern India||Sambalpur ER||(27.3.02)||Orissa||427||336||284|
|6||I Eastern India||Baitarni ER||#||Orissa||1,755||108||145|
|7||I Eastern India||South Orissa ER||^||Orissa||4,216||138||185|
|I||I Eastern India||Range I Total||15,594||1,978||1,650+|
|8||II North Brahamputra||Kameng ER||(19.6.02)||Arunachal||1,892||NA||377|
|9||II North Brahamputra||Sonitpur ER||(6.3.03) *||Assam||1,420||612||577|
|II||II North Brahamputra||Range II Total||3,312||612||954|
|10||III South Brahamputra||Dihing-Patkai ER||(17.4.03)||Assam||937||295||457|
|11||III South Brahamputra||Deomali ER||^||Arunachal||900+||129||150+|
|III||III South Brahamputra||Range III Total||1,837+||424||600+|
|12||IV Kaziranga||Kaziranga – Karbi Anglong ER||(17.4.03)||Assam||3,270||1,940||1,000|
|13||IV Kaziranga||Dhansiri-Lungding ER||(19.4.03)||Assam||2,740||275||430|
|14||IV Kaziranga||Intanki ER||(28.2.05)||Nagaland||202||30||28|
|IV||IV Kaziranga||Range IV Total||6,212||2,245||1,458|
|15||V Eastern Dooars||Chirang-Ripu ER||(7.3.03)||Assam||2,600||658||807|
|16||V Eastern Dooars||Eastern Dooars ER||(28.8.02)||W. Bengal||978||300-350||165|
|V||V Eastern Dooars||Range V Total||3,578||1,045||972|
|17||VI E. Himalayas||Garo Hills ER||(31.10.01)||Meghalaya||3,500||1,047||878|
|18||VI E. Himalayas||Khasi Hills ER||^||Meghalaya||383|
|VI||VI E. Himalayas||Range VI Total||1,430|
|19||VII Nilgiri–Eastern Ghat||Mysore ER||(25.11.02)||Karnataka||6,724||4,452||5,838|
|19.1||VII Nilgiri–Eastern Ghat||Bhadra ER||#||Karnataka||220|
|20||VII Nilgiri–Eastern Ghat||Wayanad ER||(2.4.02)||Kerala||1,200||636||961|
|21||VII Nilgiri–Eastern Ghat||Nilgiri ER||(19.9.03)||Tamil Nadu||4,663||2,862||1,938|
|22||VII Nilgiri–Eastern Ghat||Rayala ER||(9.12.03)||Andhra||766||12||74|
|VII||VII Nilgiri–Eastern Ghat||Range VII Total||13,335||7,962||8,811|
|23||VIII South Nilgiri||Nilambur ER||(2.4.02)||Kerala||1,419||281||886|
|24||VIII South Nilgiri||Coimbatore ER||(19.9.03)||Tamil Nadu||566||329||132|
|VIII||VIII South Nilgiri||Range VIII Total||1,985||610||1,018|
|25||IX Western Ghat||Anamalai ER||(19.9.03)||Tamil Nadu||1,457||179||680|
|26||IX Western Ghat||Anamudi ER||(2.4.02)||Kerala||3,728||1,547||750|
|IX||IX Western Ghat||Range IX Total||5,185||1,726||1,430|
|27||X Periyar||Periyar ER||(2.4.02)||Kerala||3,742||1,100||1,268|
|28||X Periyar||Srivilliputtur ER]] (4.SER)||(19.9.03)||Tamil Nadu||1,249||638||223|
|X||X Periyar||Range X Total||4,991||1,738||1,491|
|29||XI Northern India||Shivalik ER||(28.10.02)||Uttarakhand||5,405||1,610||1,582|
|XI||XI Northern India||Range XI Total||5,405||1,610||1,582|
|XII||Project Elephant||GRAND TOTAL||21,300+||20,696+|
Numeral Reserve group I Eastern India: South West Bengal - Jharkhand - Orissa II North Brahmaputra: Arunachal – Assam III South Brahamputra: Assam - Arunachal IV Kaziranga: Assam - Nagaland V Eastern Dooars: Assam - W. Bengal VI E. Himalayas: Meghalaya VII Nilgiri – Eastern Ghat: Karnataka - Kerala- Tamilnadu - Andhra VIII South Nilgiri: Kerala - Tamilnadu IX Western Ghat: Tamilnadu- Kerala X Periyar: Kerala - Tamilnadu XI Northern India: Uttarakhand-Uttar Pradesh XII Project Elephant Grand total
- (^) Under consideration of GOI.
- (#) Yet to be notified by State.
Enumeration of Elephants
- The first exclusive exercise for enumeration of wild elephants in the ERs was during Feb-May 2005. This exercise also sought to experiment with two sampling methods, viz. Block sampling; and Line transect-Dung Count (with Retrospective Method of Calculating Dung Decay Rate). PE arranged Training of Trainers and also issued detailed guidelines to the Chief wildlife wardens and the Field coordinators.
- Total population in 2005 was >21,200. Detailed 2005 census figures are given in the table above:Elephant reserves of Project Elephant in India (2005).
- All India estimation of elephant was carried out in May 2007 all over India except the North East states where it will be done in winter due to climatic conditions.
- Project Elephant has been formally implementing MIKE (Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants) programme of CITES in 10 ERs since January 2004. These include Shiwalik (Uttarakhand); Eastern Dooars (West Bengal); Mayurbhanj (Orissa); Ripu-Chirang and Dehing-Patkai (Assam); Garo Hills (Meghalaya); Deomali (Arunchal Pradesh); Wayanad (Kerala), Mysore (Karnataka) and Nilgiri (Tamil Nadu).
Research & Consultancy Projects
- PE has initiated a 36-months research project (2003-04 to 2006-07) with the help of the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack, for developing high yielding varieties of paddy not relished by elephants; developing elephant-proof storage bins for food grains; and developing elephant repellents. The project is being carried out at the CRRI's research stations in Orissa and Assam.
- PE has also initiated two 36 months research projects (2003-04 to 2006-07) with the help of the Assam Agricultural University on "Disease management in captive elephants" and "Anatomical studies on the Asian elephant".
- PE has entrusted the WII with a small project (2004-05 to 2005-06) to study the impact of the relocation of the Gujjar on the flora and fauna of Rajaji National Park.
- PE has also given a small consultancy project (February–July 2005) to the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, to help the West Bengal Forest Department in carrying out a sample-based enumeration of elephants during 2005.
- PE has also imbibed the use of eco-tourism for generating extra revenue for the welfare of captive breeding programmes for elephants.
Training of Veterinarians
- PE has been organizing regular refresher courses for veterinarians dealing with wild and domesticated elephants at Kerala Agricultural University, Trichur and Assam Agricultural University, Guwahati.
- PE has initiated a programme for registration of domesticated elephants by using microchips. More than 1000 elephants have been microchipped so far in Assam, Arunchal Pradesh, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar and Delhi etc. PE has organized necessary training for this purpose and also arranged for supply of standard microchips and readers to all the States known to possess domesticated elephants.
- PE has produced a 58 minutes video-documentary "Living with the Giants" on elephant conservation in India with the help of the noted film-maker Shri Ashish Chandola.
- "Project Elephant Status for Bhadra Sanctuary". Times of India, cities, Mysore (Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd). 2 Feb 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
- Note: The Shivalik Elephant Reserve constitutes Corbett National Park and Rajaji National Park, apart from other forest divisions.
- Shivakik Elephant Reserve
- "ELEPHANT RESERVES IN INDIA WITH 2005 CENSUS POPULATION". Note on Project Elephant. Ministry of Environment and Forests. 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
- Vasudevan, Hari; and et.al (2006). "5". India:Physical Environment. New Delhi: NCERT. p. 64. ISBN 81-7450-538-5.