As per the recent Elephant Census conducted by the Uttarakhand Forest Department from 6 June to 8 June 2020, the mountain state has a presence of 2026 elephants as compared to 1559 in 2012, 1797 in the year 2015 and 1839 in 2017. Since 2017, the state has reported an increase of 10.17% in the population of elephants.

The new figures were made public during the 15th meeting of Uttarakhand State Wildlife Board. The famous Corbett Tiger Reserve has the highest number of elephants – 1,224. The number has increased significantly over the last few years.  The Corbett Tiger Reserve is followed by Ramnagar Terai Forest Division and Rajaji Tiger Reserve with 1011 and 352 elephants respectively.  The sex ratio of male to female elephants in Uttarakhand is 1:2.5, which is finest among all over the world amongst the Asian elephant population.

Not only this, but the survey also records the presence of 282 tuskers in the state meaning that there had been low poaching incidents. Poachers mainly hunt down tuskers.  This also signifies a number of efforts taken on the part of the Forest Department to keep illegal activities in forests under check.

It is expected that in the coming times, more studies will be conducted in order to find if these reserves are over-pressurized or can accommodate more such jumbos. Last a year a study by the forest department claimed that animals like leopard, elephants, tigers are changing their traditional corridors of movement as a result of which the state witnessing increased incidents of man-animal conflict.

The survey has also highlighted another peculiar problem concerning the jumbos in the state. The survey has recorded the presence of elephants in the higher altitude areas indicating that jumbos are leaving their traditional habitats. This might be because of increased climate change and human activities. These activities are threatening the traditional habitats of the elephants in the hill state.

(By: Dushyant Shekhar)

 

Campaign Notes & Newsletters – Reporting beats on forests, water, waste, tourism and urbanization. An initiative by Editorial Team at Himalayan Watch. Write to us at contactsdcuk@gmail.com

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