Three Elephants Killed By Poachers In Simlipal

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Three elephants have been killed by poachers in Simlipal Tiger Reserve, Orissa. The pair of tusks missing from one of the elephants pointed to the fact that this is the work of ivory traders. It appears that the elephants had been poisoned. Conservationists have expressed concerns over poachers being active in Simlipal again. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has also expressed concern over mass killings of elephants. Last year, about 10 elephants were killed in Simlipal. … Read More

Three Elephants Electrocuted Near Dudhwa Wildlife Sanctuary

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Three elephants were electrocuted near Dudhwa Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh when a high tension electric wire fell on them. The 11,000 volt electric wire fell on the elephants when they uprooted an electric pole. The elephants were burnt alive. Forest officials are probing the deaths though, as these elephants had damaged agricultural produce and farmers had been demanding compensation from the government. The elephants will be examined in a post-mortem. … Read More

Rescued Elephant Finds ‘Family’ in Manas, Assam

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Manas (Assam), June 10, 2011: A rare conservation success story is emerging from Manas National Park with the sighting of a rehabilitated elephant having been accepted into a wild herd – good news for conservationists currently pleading for the removal of the park from the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

The elephant, named Hamren, was among the five hand-raised calves, relocated to Manas in January this year as part of the Elephant Reintegration Project – a joint venture … Read More

Seeking Alliance with People, Government Launches Campaign for Elephants

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New Delhi, May 24, 2011: Reaching out to the people, to improve conservation and welfare prospects of the elephant – India’s National Heritage Animal, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has launched the nationwide “Haathi Mere Saathi” campaign.

“Elephants are so ingrained in Indian culture and traditions, that sometimes, we tend to take the elephant for granted. This public initiative is aimed at increasing awareness among people and developing not … Read More

Shared Concerns for Elephants Bring Together African and Asian countries at the E-8 Meet

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New Delhi, May 24, 2011: An unprecedented initiative to mobilise global cooperation in elephant conservation and welfare began today with the Elephant – 8 Ministerial Meet (E-8) in New Delhi.
The E-8, hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, in collaboration with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), brings together for the first time African and Asian nations to discuss conservation and welfare … Read More

Elephant Electrocuted in Garo Hills, Meghalaya

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A female elephant was electrocuted inside Jadi elephant reserve in South Garo Hills on Monday, according to a delayed report. The incident took place when one of the elephants in a herd while passing through a jhum cultivation came in contact with an electric line resulting in the death, Kamal Medhi of Samrakshan Trust, an environment protection group, said. A similar incident of elephant electrocution took place in the adjoining area of Jadi in December last year.

Range Forest Officer … Read More

Leopard Crossing, Mysore — Mananthavadi Highway, Nagarahole

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A leopard tentatively crosses the Mysore – Mananthavadi highway in Nagarahole national park and tiger reserve in Karnataka. Based on the fact that this road passes through an extremely crucial habitat for elephants and tigers and number of tragic roadkills, conservationists filed an application to the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court to close the road to nighttime traffic.

The CEC on 05-05-2008 concluded that no vehicular traffic be permitted between 6pm and 6am apart from other mitigation … Read More

Camp Elephant gored by Wild Tusker inside Anamalai Tiger Reserve

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A 22-year old female camp elephant was gored by a wild tusker in the Kozhikamudhi camp near Top Slip of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve. Around 20 elephants were grazing near the camp area, when a rogue tusker that was in search of a mate attacked and injured the female elephant on its back, sides, neck and abdomen. The mahouts from the camp, rushed to the elephants help on hearing it trumpeting in pain. The elephant was rescued and is being … Read More

Two Elephant Reserves Being Set-up in Tripura

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Agartala, May 4: In an effort to check the number of elephants straying into human habitats in search of food, the Forest department in Tripura has started work to establish two elephant reserves in the state. “The aim of the project is to restore existing natural habitats and migratory routes of elephants, promotion of measures for mitigation of man-elephant conflict and strengthening of measures for protection of wild pachyderms from poachers,” Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) R P Tangwan … Read More

Battle Looms Over Land For Sigur Elephant Corridor in the Nilgiris

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The people of Sholur Panchayat (near Mudumalai Tiger Reserve) are furious over a recent High Court order that gave permission to the forest department to acquire their land for an Elephant Corridor. The region is home to tribals such as Kurumbas and Irulas living in Bokkapuram, Moyar, Vazhaithottam and Mavanallah who would be dislocated by the ruling. The ruling came in response to a petition filed by advocate ‘Elephant’ G. Rajendran. Activists on both sides of the picture are making … Read More

Speedpost Parcel Containing Ivory caught in Guwahati

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Acting on specific intelligence, customs sleuths in the Guwahati airport confiscated an Ahmedabad bound parcel containing 3.45 kgs of Ivory. The parcel was seized as it was being boarded onto a Spicejet flight. The Ivory was concealed under paddy husks and the value of the tusks is estimated to be around Rs. 10.35 lakhs in the domestic market and crores abroad. Smuggling in the north east is increasingly said to be taking an aerial route.… Read More

Human – Elephant Conflict

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In our densely populated subcontinent, elephants and people have had to increasingly share land and resources, leading to frequent and often fatal conflict. How can the government resolve this problem? Janaki Lenin and Raman Sukumar recently submitted a lengthy report on the issue. Here is a gist of the report.

A few facts about elephants in India:

  • Only 22 per cent of elephant habitat is found within our protected area network – the remaining elephant range lies outside, in places
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Interview with Elephant Task Force head, Mahesh Rangarajan

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Mahesh Rangarajan, environment historian and head of the Elephant Task Force talks to The Hindu about the Elephant, the task force report and conservation issues. He talks about the effects of declaring the Elephant as a National Heritage Animal and about the problems foreseen in implementing the task force report. His conclusion is that it is crucial that science, culture and the citizen come together to minimize conflict and keep elephant habitats secure.… Read More

Madras HC Gives Go Ahead To Tamil Nadu Government To Notify Elephant Corridor

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The Madras High Court has declared that the Tamil Government is fully empowered to notify The Elephant Corridor in Nilgiris District. The government is also empowered by the Centre’s Project Elephant. The court order concludes that no fault can be found with the government’s action to declare the corridor, as it has acted towards Article 51-A (g) of the constitution. The GO on the topic dated August 31, 2010 had been questioned by various parties as erroneous and that it … Read More

Human-Elephant Conflict and its Mitigation: Q&A with Sanjay Gubbi

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Is human–elephant conflict on the rise?

Yes, it seems to be.  We have failed to reduce crop depredation loss and injury to human life, which has made people living around wildlife habitats more hostile towards conservation.

As a consequence, there has been a constant increase in the retaliatory killing of elephants. In Karnataka alone 16 elephants were killed in 2006–07, 46 in 2008–09 and 41 in 2009–10. The compensation paid by the Karnataka Forest Department for loss to life and … Read More

India Proposes New Strategies to Conserve Elephants

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This was published in Oryx, February 2011.

India is home to a population of c. 26,000 Asian elephant Elephas maximus over an area of c. 110,000 km2. Currently 65,000 km2 of this area is declared as 32 Elephant Reserves across Protected Areas (30%), Reserved Forests (40%) and private lands (30%). Securing this landscape for the elephant is a challenging task in a country that has an expanding economy and over a billion people competing for space, some of it with … Read More

Elephant Calf Roadkill, NH-212, Bandipur 2003

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Two highways pass through Bandipur Tiger Reserve. NH-67 (Gundlupet-Ooty Road) and NH-212 (Gundlupet-Sultan Batthery Road) and both those highways experience heavy traffic. The traffic on NH-67 is typically tourist traffic from Karnataka to the hill resort of Ooty, while on NH 212 there is heavy passenger and truck traffic plying to northern Kerala.

Due to speeding vehicles several animals mostly chital, nocturnal animals such as civets, black-naped hare, mouse deer were killed in large numbers. Roadkills shockingly included the illustrated … Read More

Safe Passage for Elephants in Rajaji

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Once a killer track, Rajaji Park has seen no elephant deaths in six years.

Over the past seven years, over 75 elephants have been killed in train accidents across India — more than those killed by poaching, at least officially — and the carnage continues in Assam, North Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Yet, in the same period, no blood was shed on the track that cuts through Rajaji National Park (Uttarakhand) and its Chilla-Motichur elephant corridor. This … Read More

Growing Elephant Deaths in Orissa Raise Alarm

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BHUBANESWAR: In the last 19 years in Orissa, 231 elephants fell victim to poachers while 166 were killed in accidents and 173 more died from natural causes, says a wildlife NGO. While the government gives more conservative estimates, experts say there is enough cause for alarm.

Biswajit Mohanty, secretary of NGO Wildlife Society of Orissa , who gave IANS the figures, said at least 155 of the elephants died due to electrocution in over 10 years.

“Immediate measures are required … Read More

Railways and West Bengal govt. to declare Railway stretch as ‘elephant corridor’

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The Railways and the Wildlife officials of both the West Bengal government and Centre today unanimously agreed to declare the entire 164-km stretch between Siliguri and Alipurdiar on the North East Frontier Railway as an “elephant corridor” and put a speed restriction of 45 kmph on all the trains – day and night.

Both the sides formulated and agreed on a number of other steps to prevent recurrence of such animal dashing by speeding trains, official sources said.

On Wednesday … Read More

Seven elephants die after speeding train hits herd

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Incident once again raises questions over movement of trains along the elephant corridor.

Seven elephants of a herd died after being hit by a goods train in the Banarhat area of Jalpaiguri district (West Bengal) on Wednesday night.

While four were killed on the spot, the rest died on Thursday. The dead include a sub-adult and two juvenile elephants, Divisional Forest Officer (Wild Life II) Sumita Ghatak told The Hindu over telephone.

The incident has once again raised questions over … Read More

The Elephant Task Force Report — A Critique by Sanjay Gubbi

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With an estimated 26,000 elephants India is home to half the world’s population of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). These pachyderms are spread over a geographical area of about 110,000 sq km, sixty percent of which have been declared as 32 Elephant Reserves (ER).

A different concept from the conventional Protected Areas (PAs), ERs consist of a mixture of land categories. PAs (30%), Reserved Forests (40%) and private lands (30%) form the land tenure of ERs. Securing this landscape in pursuit Read More