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Project Elephant
Project Tiger
Crocodile Conservation
Sea Turtle Conservation
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Similipal Biosphere Reserve
Nandankanan
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Elephant is an animal included in Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. A complete ban on ivory trade was imposed in 1991. Project Elephant was launched in February 1992 by Govt. of India to consolidate the programmes for conservation of elephant and its habitat. The Project seeks to address (a) the threats to the survival of elephant in our country on account of loss of its habitat, migration path and poaching for tusks; and (b) issues arising out of elephant depredation in villages. Project Elephant also seeks (i) to maintain an appropriate size of the population in any habitat to safeguard it against extinction; and (ii) to maintain genetic continuity of isolated populations, which are otherwise susceptible to inbreeding.

 

Project Objectives
·       To conserve and protect elephant populations and to ensure that any population remains healthy and viable within its
ecosystem.
·        To conserve and protect the habitat of the elephant, and to reverse the deterioration of these habitats.
·        To conserve, protect, and open up traditional migration corridors linking the different habitats.
·
       To create conditions, through eco-development activities, welfare measures and mitigation of elephant depredation for nurturing the  traditional compassion and tolerance of the people living in and around elephant habitats.
·        To take concrete measures to protect the elephant from poaching and other threats. 
·         To create viable mechanisms to ensure inter-state and inter regional coordination in protecting and conserving the elephant and its ranges. 
·        To create infrastructure and facilities, including training of manpower, for   conservation support activities, veterinary care, humane methods of  tranquilising and translocation, etc.
·        To encourage, and create facilities for research related to the ecological   significance of elephant and veterinary care of the animal. 
·         To educate people about the ecological significance of conserving the   elephants and to revive the historical reverence and compassion for   elephants. 
·         To devise strategies and programmes of providing alternative source of livelihood to craftsmen and communities adversely affected due to ban on the trade of ivory products. 

Elephant Reserve (ER) Network

"Because the elephant requires much larger home range than any other terrestrial animal, it is usually one of the first species to suffer the consequences of habitat fragmentation and destruction." Elephant Reserves offer hope to rejuvenate some of the fragmented habitats.

In the state of Odisha, where many forests are shared by the tiger and elephant, the establishment of ERs have raised the hope to unify fragmented tiger habitats as well.

Three Elephant Reserves (ERs)--- the Mayurbhanj ER, Mahanadi ER and Sambalpur ER were notified in the State in the years 2001 and 2002 to define the prime elephant habitats and to launch various management interventions for conservation of elephant. The extent of notified and proposed forest blocks in these three reserves is 4129 sq. km, and the geographical area covered by these three reserves is 8509 sq. km. In order to (a) include most of the remaining important elephant habitats within ERs, (b) redress the problem of rising number of cases of elephant depredation and (c) reverse the trend of habitat fragmentation and degradation, it is proposed (year 2004) (i) to expand the area of Mahanadi and Sambalpur ERs, and (ii) to constitute new ERs called the Brahmani-Baitarani ER and South Odisha ER. As per the proposed constitution of the ER-network the maximum number of elephants will remain within the Reserves.

Mayurbhanj ER
SIMILIPAL-KULDIHA-HADGARH ELEPHANT RESERVE (Constituted: September 2001)

Location
State: Odisha
Districts: portions of Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak and
Keonjhar
North: 21o10' to 22 o35' latitude
East: 85 o45' to 87o05' longitude

Approaches to the Reserve:
Southeast :Kuldiha (from Balasore 40km)
South :Hadgarh (from Bhadrak 40km)
West :Karanjia (from Keonjhar 50km)
North :Rairangpur (from Tatanagar (80km)
Northeast :Similipal (from Baripada (20km)

Area of the Reserve:
The Mayurbhanj ER comprises of the following areas.
Similipal Tiger Reserve: … 2750.00sq.km
Kuldiha Sanctuary: … 272.75sq.km
Hadgarh Sanctuary … 191.06sq.km
---------------- 3213.81sq km
Balance area including
RF, PF, VF, DPF and Revenue lands:3829.93sq.km
Total: 7043.74sq.km.

To

Sambalpur ER
BADRAMA-KHALASUNI ER (Proposed in 2004)

(First constituted: March 2002; Revision Proposed in March 2004)
[As per 2002 notification, Sambalpur ER included the entire area of Badrama Sanctuary and Khalasuni Sanctuary.]
Location
Districts of: Sambalpur, Sundargarh, , Jharsuguda, Sonepur
Forest Divisions: (Parts) of : Bamra (Wildlife), Bonai, Sambalpur (N), Sambalpur (S), Rairakhol.
Latitude: 200 5'N and 220 12'N
Longitude : 830 13'E and 840 58'E

Approaches to Sambalpur ER:
1. N.H.6 runs in the middle of the Elephant reserve.
2. NH 42 runs through the proposed extension.
3. Sambalpur-Rourkela State highway runs along the North-West and Northern boundary of the elephant reserve.
4. Sambalpur Rly. Junction and Jharsuguda Rly. Junction on East Coast Rly. are at a distance 30 and 25Kms. respectively from the reserve boundary.
5. SH 10 runs on the Western and northern boundary of the proposed extension.

Area of Sambalpur ER (as in 2004):

Name of Division

Area of Elephant Habitat in Sq. km

Area of Zone of Influence in Sq.km.

Total Area in Sq.km.

Bamra WL

573.27

1576.0197

2149.2897

Sambalpur (S)

402.45

828.06

1230.51

Sambalpur (N)

76.55

151.4200

227.97

Bonai

693.56

295.54

989.10

Rairakhol

813.54

436.4600

1250.00

Total

2559.37

3287.4997

5846.8697

Mahanadi ER (Proposed in 2004)
(First constituted: March 2002; Revision Proposed in June 2004) [As per 2002 constitution, the Mahanadi ER includes total area of Satkoshia Gorge Sanctuary (795.52sq.km); Baisipalli Sanctuary (168.35sq.km); Hatidhara RF in Boudh District (63.89sq.km); Makaraprasad RF in Nayagarh District (10.54sq.km)]

Location
Districts: Angul, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Kondhmal, Dhenkanal
Forest Divisions: Portions of Angul , Athagarh, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Boudh and Dhenkanal, and entire Satkosia Wildlife Division, Mahanadi Wildlife
Division and Athamallik Forest Division.
Latitude: North - 20º. 10´ to 21º.5´
Longitude: East: - 84º. 15´ to 85º.58´

Approaches to Mahanadi ER:
On the North-East-Hindol is approachable from Dhenkanal ( 60 Kms.)
On the North-Pampasar is approachable from Angul ( 30 Kms.)
On the South-West-Dhandatopa is approachable from Athamallik ( 10 Kms.)
On the South-West-Charichhack is approachable from Boudh ( 40 Kms.)
On the South-Dasapalla is approachable from Nayagarh ( 40 Kms.)
On the South-East- Gania is approachable from Nayagarh ( 60 Kms.)
On the West- Kapilas is approachable from Dhenkanal( 30 Kms.)
On the East- Tangi is approachable from Cuttack ( 20 Kms)


Area of Mahanadi ER (as in 2004):

Name of the Division

Elephant Habitat (RF, PRF)

Zone of Influence

Total

Satkosia Wildlife Division

447.79

207.2

654.99

Mahanadi Wildlife Division

300.50

136.79

437.29

Angul Division

252.28

355.72

608.00

Dhenkanal Division

513.51

1333.16

1846.67

Athagarh Division

400.48

680.93

1081.41

Athamallik Division

538.39

1302.61

1841.00

Boudh Division

335.01

110.00

445.01

Nayagarh Division

299.00

708.35

1007.35

Cuttack Division

52.20

62.40

114.60

Total

3139.16

4897.16

8036.32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elephant Conservation Issues
The factors impinging on conservation of elephants in Odisha fall under two distinct categories.
a. Activities like hunting for tusks and killing by villagers in retaliation for depredation caused by single elephants or herds;
b. Diversion of forest lands, mainly for mining of forest land, encroachment, and shifting cultivation leading to loss/ decline/fragmentation/degradation of elephant habitat.

Strategy and Action Plan
(i) Constitution of 'Elephant Reserves' by including the contiguous elephant habitats, ranges and the corridors between them.
(ii) Evolving appropriate management of the designated 'Elephant Reserves' and other Elephant Habitats and conservation of the traditional migratory paths.
(iii) Measures to minimise the problem of crop-raiding, house damage and killing of humans.
(iv) Management of problem elephants or 'Problem Populations' by means of capture/ translocation/ domestication and other methods.
(v) Adoption of 'Animal Welfare' measures. Domestication and use of elephants for tourism, patrolling, etc have to be done carefully without subjecting the elephant to undue stress and ensuring proper upkeep and care of the animals. Methods of capturing have to be humane. Emphasis to be laid on training of right type of mahouts.
(vi) Improvement of the quality and security of the life of the human population who share any elephant habitat and its resources for daily living.
(vii) Research on aspects of elephant conservation.
(viii) Education and awareness campaign
(ix) Setting up of veterinary units for medical attention to sick elephants in each Elephant Reserve
(x) Training of mahouts and elephant managers

 

Distribution in Odisha
In Odisha elephants are not seen in ten districts, namely Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrakh, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malakangiri, Bargarh, Sonepur and Bolangir. Estimation of elephant population is carried out periodically throughout Odisha. The estimation was carried ou during 5th to 7th May 2002.


Table: Elephant Population in Odisha (May 2002)

Sl No

Division

Male

Female

Calf /

Unknown Sex

Total

1

Angul

10

7

7

24

2

Athamalik

10

14

13

37

3

Athagad

19

98

39

158

4

Dhenkanal

14

45

22

81

5

Keonjhar

40

49

23

112

6

Satkosia Wl

17

43

95

155

7

Balliguda

9

14

9

32

8

Boudh

0

0

0

0

9

Ghumsur(N)

2

4

3

9

10

Ghumsur(S)

2

2

2

6

11

Nayagarh

0

0

0

0

12

Mahanadi Wl

4

10

11

25

13

Paralakhemundi

6

19

17

42

14

Puri

0

0

0

0

15

Phulbani

1

3

2

6

16

Bolangir

0

0

0

0

17

Jaypore

0

0

0

0

18

Kalahandi

19

34

8

61

19

Khariar

0

0

0

0

20

Raygada

0

0

0

0

21

Sunabeda Wl

0

0

0

0

22

Bamra

45

123

33

201

23

Bonai

15

40

27

82

24

Badrama Wl

0

0

0

0

25

Deogarh

2

7

0

9

26

Rairakhole

25

93

47

165

27

Sundargarh

0

0

0

0

28

Sambalpur

20

22

22

64

29

Chandaka Wl

13

30

19

62

30

Similipal

97

283

132

512

 

(Figures of Karanjia and Baripada Division included)
 

State Total

370

940

531

1841

 

 

Captive elephants
The History of Odisha provides evidences about a rich tradition of maintaining elephants in captivity. There are innumerable elephant sculptures in temples and caves, and the Maharaja of Puri is known as the "Gajapati". Maintaining captive elephants was not possible in princely states after Indian-independence and particularly after the introduction of 'privy purse' where the princely states handed over most of their properties to the Government and maintaining personal collection of elephants was no longer necessary.

The changed scenario reflected on the families of 'Mahouts' who mastered the skill of elephant-maintenance. The mahouts have gradually vanished along with the disappearance of the tradition of keeping elephants.

Captive elephants are now maintained only in some of the 'camps' under State Wildlife Organisation. In Nandankanan the elephants are used for joy rides by visitors. In Similipal, however, the elephants are used by staff moving for habitat or wildlife protection, when the roads get cut off in the rains or where 'elephant power' is required to be deployed.


Table: Captive Elephants in Odisha during 2003
Sl. No.

Place

Male

Female

Total

1
Nandankanan Biological Park

2

8

10

2

Similipal Sanctuary

3

2

5

3

Debrigarh Sanctuary

1

0

1

 

Total

6

10

16

 

Table: Death of Elephant
(1990-91 to 2002-03)

Sl. No. Year Nature of death
    Poaching Accident Natural Disease Reason not known Total
1 1990-91 11 6 12     29
2 1991-92 11 2 6     19
3 1992-93 15 5 16     36
4 1993-94 13 7 18     38
5 1994-95 23 5 15     43
6 1995-96 19 7 17     43
7 1996-97 14 10 10     34
8 1997-98 13 5 19     37
9 1998-99 13 11 4 1 1 30
10 99-2000 10 6 5 2 1 24
11 2000-01 11 3 3 1 2 20
12 2001-02 10 7 2 4 1 24
13 2002-03 16 11 0 10 3 40
14 2003-04 9 15 1 18 4 47
  TOTAL

188 100 128 36 12 464

 

 

Table: Elephant Depredation
Number of cases of elephant depredation (1995-1996 to 2002-2003) in Odisha along with amount of compassionate payment made in different years:

Sl.No.

Year

Human kill in Nos.

Human injury in Nos.

Crop damage in Acre

House damage in Nos.

Compassionate amount paid in Rupees

1 1995-96 30 1 1091.01 115 1019575
2 1996-97 6 1 0 0 70000
3 1997-98 15 1 1028.35 12 664464
4 1998-99 21 12 467.696 8 608139
5 99-2000 23 5 1999.624 262 1500000
6 2000-01 22 1 3187.69 5 1800000
7 2001-02 64 6 2823.824 1021 3006730
8 2002-03 66 7 4240.188 890 4103600
9 2003-04

12

1

3314.288

242

2451869

  TOTAL 259 35 18152.67 2555 15224377

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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