WHY IN NEWS ?
- India is celebrating 30 years of Project Elephant, which was introduced in 1992.
ABOUT PROJECT ELEPHANT
- The Government of India introduced Project Elephant in 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the following goals:
1.To safeguard elephants, their habitat, and migration routes
2. To address problems of animal-human conflict
3. Elephant welfare in captivity
- Elephant Reserves are the fundamental management unit under Project Elephant.
- As on date, there are 33 Elephant Reserves spread over 80,778 km2 across India.
- The year 2022 marked 30 years of Project Elephant in India.
- Project Elephant has ramped up initiatives for elephant conservation.
- Two new Elephant Reserves have been created during the last two years in strategically important locations.
Goal of Project Elephant
Need of the hour is to-
- Protect elephants and their habitat.
- Reduce human-elephant conflict.
- Promote elephant-friendly policies.
- Monitor elephant numbers, population trends, and threats to elephants and their habitat.
- Build capacity in range States.
- Conduct research on elephants to help inform conservation strategies.
Protection Status of Asian Elephants
- Asian elephants are classified into three subspecies: Indian, Sumatran, and Sri Lankan.
- The Indian subspecies have the largest range and account for the majority of the continent’s surviving elephants.
- IUCN Red List: Endangered.
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I.
- CITES: Appendix I
THREATS TO ELEPHANT POPULATION
- Ivory poaching, which remains the foremost challenge for conservation of African elephants, is under control in India.
- Another most significant challenge towards elephant conservation in India emerges in the form of human-elephant conflict.
- Habitat loss, fragmentation and unlawful killings are some other serious threats to elephant population.
- The government of India had notified a total of 33 Elephant Reserves in India. The total elephant population in India is 27312 ( Latest Census in 2017 ).
- Dandeli Elephant Reserve in Karnataka, Singphan Elephant Reserve in Nagaland, Agasthiyamalai Elephant Reserve in Tamil Nadu and Terai Elephant Reserve (Uttar Pradesh) are the most recent additions to India’s Elephant Reserves.
SYLLABUS: PRELIMS, ENVIRONMENT
SOURCE : THE HANS INDIA