CONSERVATION OF ELEPHANTS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     15th December 2023        

Context: Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, working in coordination with the State Forest Departments, ground-validated 150 elephant corridors across 15 elephant range states in the country.

Elephants Resevers

  • Designating Critical Habitats: Notification of 'Elephant Reserves' focuses on vital elephant habitats, promoting synergy in conservation efforts and minimizing human-elephant conflict.
  • Establishment of Elephant Reserves: Presently, 33 Elephant Reserves have been set up across 14 key elephant states, emphasizing the commitment to elephant conservation.
  • Integrated Conservation Approach: Elephant Reserves are strategically positioned to overlap with Tiger Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries, and Reserved Forests.

o These areas are safeguarded under legislative frameworks such as the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, Indian Forest Act, 1927, and local State Acts.

Elephant Corridors

  • About: It can be defined as a narrow stretch of land that facilitates the movement of elephants between two or more adjacent habitats that are conducive to their well-being.
  • State Wise Distribution: West Bengal takes the lead with 26 corridors, making up 17% of the total.
  • East central India -  52 corridors, The North East region - 48 corridors, Southern India - 32 corridors., and Northern India - 18 corridors.

Project Elephant

  • Launched: In 1992 as a centrally sponsored scheme.
  • Objectives: (1) To protect elephants, their habitat & corridors, (2) To address issues of man-animal conflict, (3) Welfare of captive elephants.
  • It provides: Financial and technical support to major elephant bearing states for protection of elephants, their habitats and corridors. 
  • Under the Project, Elephant reserves have been established across states.