India which has the largest population of wild Asian elephants can play a critical role in the long-term conservation of the species even as we celebrate World Elephant Day today there is a heightened awareness for elephant conservation for ecological well-being and sustainability.
“With the largest population of wild Asian elephants, India is the mainstay for long-term conservation of the species,” said Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change at a function in Bhubaneswar.
India has been taking a series of efforts for elephant conservation including a novel initiative to map the genotype of all captive elephants in the country to prevent illegal trafficking of elephants.
Also, the Elephant Reserve network in the country increased from 76,508 km2 to 80,777 km2 comprising 33 Elephant Reserves during the last two years. Four elephant reserves across the four elephant-bearing regions of the country have been identified for piloting the process of management effectiveness evaluation for the Elephant Reserves.
Yadav also released the second version of the Atlas of Elephant Reserves of India, which is intended to provide basic information on all the 33 Elephant Reserves of India.
As part of the world elephant day celebrations, the Minister released the report on the Elephant Corridors of India prepared by Project Elephant. The report is an outcome of ground validation of all the identified elephant corridors in India in coordination with the State Forest Departments of the elephant range states. The report involves nearly two years of concerted efforts. The report comprises details pertaining to 150 elephant corridors across India with corresponding maps.
The Minister also conferred the Gaj Gaurav awards to the awardees for their exemplary contributions in the field of elephant conservation and management.
Every year 12th August is celebrated as world elephant day across the globe to reaffirm mankind’s collective pledge in conserving one of the most iconic species on the planet. In India, elephants are regarded as National Heritage animals and are deeply ingrained in the culture.