New Delhi: Elephant population has increased
by 2,000 in the past 15 years in the country taking their
number to 28,000, as per the latest data provided by Ministry of Environment and Forests.
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.