Data from the latest elephant census report released by the Karnataka Government on August 9 must have been music to the ears of jumbo lovers. As per the report, the number of wild elephants in Karnataka has gone up to 6,395 from 6,049 in 2017.
However, as much as the state takes pride in having the highest number of elephants in the country, human-elephant conflicts have been a persistent issue. According to data from the Union Environment Ministry, 112 people died in Karnataka in the last four years as a result of elephant attacks.
The numbers may look bleak, but the silver lining is that a bunch of researchers from Bengaluru and Karnataka are leading initiatives that strive to mitigate instances of human-elephant conflicts with the help of research, data, science and technology. In this series, we shine a light on four such research endeavours.