Elephant population estimation exercise to follow established protocols, IISc scientists to analyse data

The Forest Department has said block count and line transect exercise help in the abundance estimation of elephants in these habitats.

Updated - May 20, 2024 09:21 pm IST

Published - May 20, 2024 09:01 pm IST - MYSURU

The methodology for the three-day elephant population enumeration exercise follows the protocol established by Project Elephant under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and experts from the Wildlife Institute of India.

On the first day of the exercise, block sampling or direct count exercise will be taken up and a team of two to three people will systematically survey each of the selected blocks and walk minimum of 15 km to cover a five sq km block and record all elephant sightings on the block count data sheet provided.

On May 24 the authorities will take up line transects exercise and the length of each line transect is 2 km. The staff walk the transect line and record the data about elephant dung piles on the either side of the line.

The Forest Department has said block count and line transect exercise help in the abundance estimation of elephants in these habitats. Along with the forest cover, land use type data and the field data obtained, current elephant use/distribution area, mean elephant density and number of elephants is also calculated.

On May 25, waterhole direct count exercise will be taken up complete with photographic evidence. The waterholes/salt licks/open areas, with maximum use by elephants have been identified and fixed-point observation is undertaken for elephants from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at these selected locations, according to the authorities.

 The size of the herd, age and gender of the individuals is recorded along with photographs of the individuals or groups. This data is used to assess the age and sex distribution (demography) of the elephant populations.

The data generated will be compiled and scientists from IISc, Bengaluru will analyse it using statistical methods. After the analysis, population estimation shall be obtained for all the four States for the areas falling on the boundary of each of the State, said the authorities.

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