Short Note on Project Elephant

Elephant is considered as keystone species because this animal requires large area for movement and require high amount of food. Only healthy ecosystem can support Elephants population. Elephants in India are culturally significant because this animal is worshipped as Lord Ganesha. However, elephants are also excessively hunted for their tusk and are considered as endangered species. Elephants have also declined because of human-elephant conflict. This conflict may arise when elephant happen to raid crop field near forest or move into residential area. Development of railway track inside elephant habitat is another reason for decline in their number. Sometimes, elephants collide with fast moving trains which may result in their death.

Project Elephant is an on-going scheme under Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Government of India) focused on increasing elephant population in India. This scheme was launched in 1992. Project Elephant aim to increase population of elephants by creation of Elephant reserves as in-situ conservation strategy. It also aims to reduce human- elephant conflict and address welfare of captive elephants.

Project Elephant has been successful in establishing 32 elephant reserves in India. Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) programme has also been implemented under this scheme. Despite this scheme, poaching still remains biggest threat to the population of Elephants in India.

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