2,000 more elephants in 15 yrs, population touches 28,000 mark

The Ministry, however, said it does not maintain statistics on the death of elephants and their disappearance. According to the 2007 census, there are 27,669 to 27,715 elephants in its various reserves and habitats as against 25,604 in 1993.

A maximum of 14,005 tuskers are in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra followed by 9,305-9,355 in northeastern regions with Assam having the highest number of 5,281 pachyderms.

Eastern states, including Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh have 2,633 elephants while in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh their population is 1,726, the data said.
The census of elephants is undertaken at an interval of five years and the last was done in 2007.

"The information regarding death or disappearance of elephants is not compiled in this ministry and is not available," the Ministry of Environment and Forests said in reply to an RTI query.

The central government has issued about Rs 1,250 crore to 12 states including Rs 220 crore to Karnataka, Rs 170 crore to Tamil Nadu and Rs 140 crore each to Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh under the 'Project Elephant' for providing better facilities to the animal.

"State governments are encouraged to identify significant natural habitats of wild elephants in their jurisdictions and notify such areas as elephant reserves. So far, 32 such elephant reserves have been identified," the MoEF said.

"Since management of wild animal population, including elephants is the mandate of state governments, the central government does not take any independent action. It does, however, consult the state governments and advises them in case of reported deaths of elephants due to avoidable reasons," the reply added.

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