Friday 3 July 2015

Elephant Conservation | Elephant Corridors, Project Elephant, MIKE

Why in news?
Elephant Family, International Fund for Animal Welfare, IUCN Netherlands, World Land Trust and Wildlife Trust of India have signed an MoU under the umbrella of Asian Elephant Alliance. --> to raise £20 million for securing 100 elephant corridors across India in the next one decade.

Elephant corridors in India

Highest in North-east
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Source: Indian Express

According to estimates, 400 people and 50 elephants are killed in India every year due to conflict, which is increasing due to the rapidly shrinking habitat. While most tiger habitats fall within protected areas, only 22 per cent of elephant habitats has some kind of protection.

Elephant Conservation in India: Project Elephant

Project Elephant (PE) was launched by the Government of India in the year 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with following objectives :
    1.    To protect elephants, their habitat & corridors
2.    To address issues of man-animal conflict
3.    Welfare of captive elephants

Financial and Technical support are being provided to major elephant bearing States in the country. The Project is being mainly implemented in 16 States / UTs , viz. Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal.  

Main activities under the Project are as follows:
    1.    Ecological restoration of existing natural habitats and migratory routes of elephants;
2.   Development of scientific and planned management for conservation of elephant habitats and viable population of Wild Asiatic elephants in India;
3.    Promotion of measures for mitigation of man elephant conflict in crucial habitats and moderating pressures of human and domestic stock activities in crucial elephant habitats;
4.    Strengthening of measures for protection of Wild elephants form poachers and unnatural causes of death;
5.    Research on Elephant management related issues;
6.    Public education and awareness programmes;
7.    Eco-development
8.    Veterinary care
9.    Elephant Rehabilitation/Rescue Centers

Elephent Reserves:
  • Till now 28 Elephant Reserves (ERs) extending over about 61830.08 sq km have been formally notified by various State Governments. 
  • Consent for establishment 2 more ERs – Khasi Elephant Reserve in Meghalaya and Dandeli Elephant Reserve in Karnataka has been accorded by MoEF&CC. 
  • Inclusion of Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary in Mysore Elephant Reserve has also been approved by the Ministry.  
    • The concerned State Governments are yet to notify these ERs.  

Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants ( MIKE ) Programme
Mandated by COP resolution of CITES , MIKE program started in South Asia in the year 2003 with following purpose –

The main objectives of the MIKE are:
  1. To measure levels and trends in the illegal hunting of elephants;
  2. To determine changes in these trends over time; and
  3. To determine the factors causing or associated with such changes, and to try and assess in particular to what extent observed trends are a result of any decisions taken by the Conference of the Parties to CITES
[Source: MoEF&CC website, Indian Express, WWF]


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