India is home to a large proportion of wild elephants found in Asia.These animals under severe threat primarily due to habitat destruction and fragmentation. Indian elephants are categorized as endangered animal in crucial IUCN red list. India Government was under pressure to save these crucial mammals as like tigers status of elephants reveals the true position of a habitat or forest reserve.
Project elephants (PE) was launched in the year 1992 as a centrally sponsored scheme by the Government of India. Its aim and objective was in the shape of technical as well as financial support to all to elephant habitats spread in different states of India. The main ambit of PE is elephant habitat spread over 13 States of India spread in States of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh,
West Bengal, AndhraPradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Orissa, Tamilnadu, Nagaland. The PE was started with outlay of 23 crores in the 8th plan and in 10th plan, it is increased to 60 crores.
Objectives of project elephants
- protection of elephants, habitat and crucial corridors
- reduce man-animal conflict
- welfare of domesticated elephants
Activities of project elephants
- Scientific and planned management of elephant habitats and viable elephant population
- Restoration of remaining elephant habitat and corridors(Migratory routes)
- Protection against poaching and accidental deaths
- Reduction in man-elephants conflicts and finding was to reduce human pressure on elephants habitats
- Research on elephant reflected issues and
- Creating awareness about elephants amongst public.
This is India’s second organized effort to save its precious wildlife after launch of project tiger in 1973.. Let us hope it achieves its objects to save these largest mammals of India.