Centre okays Elephant Project Directorate

Directorate will be set up in Madikeri within 6 months

The office will be set up soon, he said addressing a news conference at Aranya Bhavan in Madikeri on Tuesday.
An official of grade of Conservator of Forest will be appointed to the Directorate by the government. The centre will also have veterinary doctor, ambulance, vehicles and other personnel.
 The Directorate will be set up within 6 months, he said and added that there are over 35,000 elephants in Asia continent of which over 17,500 dwell in India of which over 8,000 elephants are found in Mysore Elephant corridor (Nagarahole, Bandipura), Kerala and Kodagu. Kodagu has about 1 lakh acre of forest paisari land, which has been encroached, thereby shrinking the forest area.
Since the elephants are not able to find adequate quantity of food for themselves in the remaining forest land, they barge into the areas of human settlement.
He said that last year 15 people died due to wild elephant attack. During last year, 20 to 25 elephants have died due to shooting or poisoning.
Providing statistics, Mallesh informed that during 1996-97 to 2008-09, 40 people died due to tusker attack. Loss of Rs 1,46,63,344 had occurred including crop loss.
“During 1980s, tuskers were killed for its tusk but of late, poaching for tusk has stopped. In 1885, every 30 female elephants had one male elephant but at present, the ratio has become healthy with every six female elephants to one male,” he said. He said that there is a need to acquire land near ‘Rajamarg’ for the smooth movement of the elephants. Each elephant moves in about 500 hectare and 40 kms area and eats over 400 kg of food.
He opined that the department has to adapt advanced technologies to avert elephant attacks.
He said that GPS Radio Caller facilities can help to trace the movement of the elephants.

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