Other States

Elephant population goes up marginally

As many as 5,607 field officials along with enthusiastic wildlife lovers, journalists and villagers were deployed to count elephants for the census.- Photo: AP

As many as 5,607 field officials along with enthusiastic wildlife lovers, journalists and villagers were deployed to count elephants for the census.- Photo: AP  

: Despite natural habitats of elephants gradually getting shrunk in Odisha over the years, the elephant population was found to have increased marginally to 1,954 this year from 1930 in 2012.

As per Odisha’s elephant census released here on Monday, there has been increase of 24 elephants in the population in 2015 compared to 2012 when the last census was carried out. Presence of elephants was recorded in 38 forest and wildlife divisions out of 44 where field officials were spread out to track the big mammal this year.

In three elephant reserves such as Mayurbhanj, Mahanadi and Sambalpur, 1,450 elephants were enumerated. Put together, these reserves account 74.21 per cent of the total elephant population in the State. There are 402 elephants found outside elephant reserves and sanctuaries. Five other sanctuaries have an elephant population of 102.

The report says sex could not be identified in case of 27 elephants. The proportion of female: male: young for the known individuals is 1,096:341:490. Compared to 2012, the male population is up by 7. Similarly, number of female elephants has gone up by 9 and young ones by 27. Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary situated adjacent to Bhubaneswar, is found to have only eight elephants. The sanctuary was a habitat of 83 elephants in 1999. Due to enormous anthropogenic pressure and urban infrastructure development around the capital city, the elephant population has been steadily decreasing. It has now come down to single digit. In the three year period since 2012 census, as many as 213 elephants have perished in the State. Of 213 deaths, the wildlife wing of forest department has admitted that 20 elephants have been poached, five poisoned and 14 electrocuted deliberately.

Besides, nine elephants have died after coming in contact with sagging overhead live electric wire. As many as 12 elephants have succumbed to injuries after being knocked down by speeding trains on railway tracks while road accident has claimed one life. The census report says the cause of 36 elephant deaths is natural during this period. Wildlife veterinarians have confirmed ‘disease’ as the reason behind the death of 49 elephants.

“Elephant census was carried out diligently. As many as 5,607 field officials along with enthusiastic wildlife lovers, journalists and villagers were deployed to count elephants. More than 1,000 watchtowers were erected in jungles across the State to keep a tab on elephants during census period,” said Bikram Keshari Arukha, State Forest and Environment Minister, here on Monday.



As per the latest Odisha census, there

is an increase of 24 elephants since 2012



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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 5:49:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/elephant-population-goes-up-marginally/article7368423.ece

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