Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, announced the notification of Agasthiyamalai Elephant Reserve in Tamil Nadu.
The new reserve will be spread over an area of 1,197 sq.kms in Agasthiyamalai.
This will be the 31stElephant Reserve in the country.
In the last 3 years, Dandeli Elephant Reserve in Karnataka, Singphan Elephant Reserve in Nagaland and Lemru Elephant Reserve in Chhattisgarh has been notified.
It is found in the central and southern Western Ghats, North East India, eastern India and northern India and in some parts of southern peninsular India.
It is included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES).
The Indian elephant is found in 16 states in the country and is showing an increasing trend across its distributional range.
The population of the animals had become critically low in 1992.
That is when Project Elephant was launched to ensure the protection of the pachyderms and their environment.
According to the 2017 elephant census, Karnataka had the highest number of elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054).
It was launched by the Government of India in the year 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with following objectives:
- To protect elephants, their habitat & corridors
- To address issues of man-animal conflict
- Welfare of captive elephants
The Project is being mainly implemented in 16 States / UTs , viz. Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal.
World Elephant Day
It is an international annual event, celebrated on 12thof August every year.
The goal of World Elephant Day is to create awareness on elephant conservation, and to share knowledge and positive solutions for the better protection and management of wild and captive elephants.