Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Monday, October 21, 2019

Elephant Census 2017 - Jumbo Success for Karnataka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite its success, conservation efforts of the Karnataka Forest Department (KFD) have been mired in controversies with back-to-back death of tigers and unrestrained wildfire incidents in forests across Southern Karnataka. But the just-released Elephant Census-2017 is a pat on the back for the state. 

 

 

 

The state has topped the list with a salubrious population of Asiatic Elephants after achieving a similar feat by hosting the highest population of tigers in the country. It is in the southern forest areas that include Nagarahole, Bandipur and Bhadra that the highest density of pachyderms has been spotted in Karnataka. 

 

 

 

In a break from traditional methods of counting elephants, the Elephant Census-2017 was known as 'All-India Synchronised Elephant Population Estimation' and was done simultaneously across the country to ascertain the exact count of jumbos. 

 

 

 

While Karnataka has the highest number with 6,049 elephants, the distant Assam with 5,719 elephants stands second in the country. Another positive is that the area inhabited by the elephant population is considerably expanding across all divisions. 

 

 

 

Two aces 

 

 

 

Though incidents of human-elephant conflicts were reported from every corner of the state, the 2017 Census has revealed that South Karnataka forests have the highest density of elephants. According to the Census, a copy of which is with Bangalore Mirror, Nagarahole and Bandipur forests have the highest density of elephants in Karnataka. 

 

 

 

Interestingly, all the forest divisions show the presence of elephants. "Elephants are found in 33 forest divisions across Karnataka. The results show an overall density of 0.67 elephants per square km over 8,976 sq km, suggesting a total estimated 6,049 elephants in Karnataka," the Census report said. According to the published data, the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve has the highest density with 1.54 elephants per sq km followed by the Bandipur Tiger Reserve with 1.13 elephants and Bhadra Tiger Reserve with 1.12 jumbo per sq km. Similarly, the Bannerghatta National Park on the outskirts of Bengaluru too suggested a salubrious density of 0.63 elephant per sq km of area. 

 

 

 

It is just the first report 

 

 

 

While the first report of the 2017 Census has given all the credit to Karnataka for being the elephant capital of the country, sources in MoEF say that it is only the first report. 

 

 

 

"It is entirely based on direct count method as per the data provided by the respective state forest departments. The counting is on-going work and requires more inputs from the states prompting further analysis and interpretation. Mapping the jumbo distribution using GIS domain, analysing data from indirect dung count method and compiling more accurate population data from photographs would require several months," the report said. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Bangalore Mirror