Eastern Region States to conduct joint elephant census

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Bhubaneswar: The State Forest and Environment Department has successfully organized a Regional Workshop for synchronized elephant population census to estimate the number of pachyderms across the Eastern region States here on Friday.

The massive exercise of counting the number of elephants scheduled between May 9 and 12 will cover Eastern region states, comprising Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and West Bengal. Senior forest officials from all states of the eastern zone participated in the two-day workshop.

The workshop focused on adopting both direct and indirect sighting of elephants across different states in the eastern region. The census will help determine accurate distribution of elephants. With this, the growth rate or the decline rate of the population for the next 20 years can be studied. It will also help in understanding the demography of elephants in the wild.

Whether elephant habitats undergo changes due to human intervention, the male-female ratio and other related information will be obtained through the census. All the forest officials were sensitized on elephant census through books.

“The population estimation of elephants is done using a common approach. A significant feature of the census is that it will adopt both direct and indirect sighting of elephants. The wildlife managers have come up with this new dung decay technique. Both the direct and indirect techniques will be followed and then the final result will be given based on both techniques,” said Sio Saran Srivastav, Principal Chief Conserver of Forests, Odisha.

In the last census conducted in 2015, the population of elephants in Odisha stood at 1954. This included adult males, females, calves and sub-adult animals.

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