3-day synchronised Elephant Census underway
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3-day synchronised Elephant Census underway

May 18, 2023

Hundreds of pachyderms spotted on first day covering Nagarahole National Park, Bandipur National Park, Biligiri Ranganatha Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Male Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and Hunsur Division

Mysore/Mysuru: The three-day Synchronised Elephant Census-2023 began at Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu forests on Wednesday (May 17). The census is held once in five years and the previous census was held in the year 2017.

On the first day of the census, hundreds of elephants were spotted in Nagarahole National Park, Bandipur National Park, Biligiri Ranganatha Swamy Temple (BRT) Wildlife Sanctuary, Male Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and Hunsur Division.

According to preliminary observation, Karnataka is likely to reclaim the top spot in elephant numbers, as the area of census covers three tiger reserves, two wildlife sanctuaries and the elephant habitat in Hunsur.

During the census in 2017, the country had over 25,000 elephants, with 6,049 in Karnataka, followed by 5,719 in Assam and 3,504 in Kerala. Taking the previous findings into cognisance, it is largely believed that Karnataka will be in lead again.

The census is being conducted in three stages, with only Forest Department personnel deployed for the task and a three-member team has been formed in each beat.

 On Wednesday, the census was conducted in block count method in 15-km radius of 5 sq. km area of the forests on foot. At Nagarahole, 300 Forest Department personnel are deputed to conduct the census in 91 beats, followed by 345 personnel in 115 beats of Bandipur.

The Forest personnel are deputed as per requirements of the beats at BRT, Male Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and Hunsur Division.

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On second day of the census today, the exercise was conducted by deploying the method of dung count found in line transact of every 2-km in each beat.

On the third and last day of the census tomorrow (May 19), the enumerators will keep a watch on water bodies including lakes, tanks and water holes, from 6 am to 6 pm.

The elephants will be classified as male, female, sub-adult and calf separately during the census.

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