ELEPHANT CENSUS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     20th May 2024        
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Context: An elephant census in the border areas of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh will be held from May 23 to 25.

Elephant Census

  • About: This census exercise will be limited to only the bordering areas to identify conflict areas and chalk out better solutions.
  • Objective: to understand the area, and the conflict and chalk out better policies for better coordination and future planning. 

o This is the first time such an exercise is being carried out.

  • Outcome: It is the outcome of the inter-state coordination committee meeting in Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

o The inter-state meeting was held after a radio-collared tuskless male (makhana) killed a man in Wayanad, Kerala.

  • Geographical Focus in Karnataka: Kolar, Bannerghatta National Park, Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, MM Hills (all bordering Tamil Nadu), Bandipur Tiger Reserve (bordering Tamil Nadu and Kerala), Nagarahole Tiger Reserve (bordering Kerala), and all three divisions of Kodagu. 

o The other forest divisions of the state are not included in this exercise.


  • Block Count Sampling Method:

o On the first day, the enumeration will begin with the block count sampling method.

o Forest divisions will be divided into sample blocks ranging from 4 to 6 sq km.

  • Dung Count Method:

o The second day will utilize the indirect 'dung count' method.

o Elephant numbers will be estimated based on dung density and its distance from transects.

o Data collection will involve covering straight lines up to 2 km on foot.

  • Waterhole Count Method:

o The third day will focus on the waterhole count method.

o Identification of waterbodies frequented by elephants will be the primary objective.

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