R. Vimal Kumar

Tirupur: The Department of Forest officials completed the elephant census in Udumalpet and Amaravathi territorial forest ranges falling under the Anamalai Tiger Reserve on Monday late evening.

Conservator of Forests H. Basvaraju told The Hindu on Tuesday that block count and line transact dung count methods were adopted to enumerate the elephants living over an expanse of 436.27 sq km in Udumalpet and Amaravathi forest ranges of the Reserve. The total area of Anamalai Tiger Reserve including Ulanthi, Pollachi, Valparai and Manombolly ranges falling in Coimbatore district, is 958 sq km.

“Simultaneously, the census was carried out in the ranges falling in Coimbatore district too,” Mr. Basvaraju said.

During the data collection, pachyderms in various age groups, members of each sex and tuskers in adult and sub-adult categories were separately enumerated.

“The final figures will be released after compilation and collation of the data obtained. It may take a month to finish the analysis of the data collected,” Mr. Basvaraju said.

Rise in population

Official sources said that there was a significant rise in the pachyderm population estimated in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve during the last few years.

“While 598 elephants are found in Anamalai Tiger Reserve area during 2007 census, it went up to 750 in 2008 census,” sources added.