PROJECT ELEPHANT

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India PROJECT ELEPHANT

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India 1970's - 1994: Endangered 1996 - 2004: Endangered ( Criteria : A1cd ) ( IUCN 2004 ) STATUS

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India The Project Elephant, PE in short was launched in February 1992.

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India The Asian elephant can weigh up to 5400 kg (11,900 lb). It currently occupies forested habitats in hilly or mountainous terrain, up to about 3600 m (11,800'). An adult eats approximately 150 kg (330 lb) per day - mainly grasses but also leaves, twigs and bark. It feeds during the morning, evening and night and rests during the middle of the day, requiring shade during the hot season to keep from overheating. Elephants cannot go for long without water (they require 70-90 liters (19-24 gal) of fluid/day) and sometimes must travel long distances each day between their water supplies and feeding areas .

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India One calf is born every 3-4 years after a pregnancy lasting about 22 months. Although mature male elephants may live alone, females live in family groups consisting of mothers, daughters and sisters, together with immature males. Wild elephants can live to be sixty years old.

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India The Asian elephant once ranged from the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in ancient Mesopotamia in the west, east through Asia south of the Himalaya to Indochina and the Malay Peninsula, including Sri Lanka and Sumatra and possibly Java, and north into China at least as far as the Yangtze River. In the 19th century it was still common over much of the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka and the eastern parts of its range. By 1978, Asian elephants were found in the same countries as they are at present.

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Weight : Females average 2720 kg (5980 lb). Large bulls weigh 5400 kg (11,900 lb) ( Nowak 1999 ) .

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Habitat: The Asian elephant currently occupies forested habitats in hilly or mountainous terrain, up to about 3600 m (11,800'). It is adaptable and can occur in a wide range of habitats, from thick jungles to grassy plains. The Asian elephant lives in both the Himalaya , Indo-Burma , Mountains of Southwest China , Sundaland and Western Ghats and Sri Lanka Biodiversity Hotspots ( Cons. Intl. 2005 ) as well as the Peninsular Malaysian Lowland & Montane Forests, Northern Indochina Subtropical Moist Forests, Sri Lankan Moist Forests, Kayah-Karan/Tenasserim Moist Forests, Western Ghats Moist Forests, Annamite Range Moist Forests, Eastern Indochina Dry & Monsoon Forests, and Eastern Indian Monsoon Forests Global 200 Ecoregions . ( Olson & Dinerstein 1998 , Olson & Dinerstein 1999 )

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Age to Maturity: Female Asian elephants attain sexual maturity when 9-12 years old. Males are capable of reproduction at 10-17 years, but they are still too young to dominate older females and do not significantly contribute to reproduction. Sexual maturity may be delayed for several years during drought or periods of high population density.

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Gestation Period: Approximately 22 months. Birth Rate: One calf is born at a time. A female may produce a calf every 3 - 4 years, although this period may be extended when conditions are unfavorable for survival, such as during drought. Fecundity : Age 0 - 15: 0.0 (births/female/year); age 16 - 50: 0.225 (births/female/year); age 51 - 60: 0.20 (births/female/year) ( Sukumar et al. 1998 ).

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Early Development: There is a long period of juvenile dependency. The infant suckles for 3 - 4 years Dispersal : Young males appear to leave the family group and become solitary at about the time they become sexually mature Maximum Reproductive Age: The period of greatest female fecundity is between 25-45 years. Maximum Age: Sixty years in the wild (more than 80 years in captivity).

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Diet: The Asian elephant eats grasses and small amounts of leaves, woody parts of trees and shrubs - twigs, branches and bark. Cultivated crops, such as bananas, paddy and sugar cane are also preferred, with the result that the elephant often becomes a pest in agricultural regions. It will also eat large quantities of flowers and fruits when these are available and will dig for roots, including bamboo .

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Social Organization: The Asian elephant is gregarious , and, although males sometimes live alone, females are always found in family groups consisting of mothers, daughters, sisters and immature males. In the 19th century, these family groups usually consisted of 30 - 50 animals, but much larger groups, as large as 100 individuals, were not uncommon. Sometimes an adult male can be associated with a herd. When not, adult males usually remain solitary and disperse over relatively small, widely overlapping home ranges; sometimes they gather together in small but temporary bull herds. They do not seem to be territorial , and there is a great amount of toleration between them, except possibly when the cows are in estrus .

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Mortality and Survival: Female mortality by age class:  <1 year: 0.10; 1 - 5 years: 0.04; 6 - 15 years: 0.015; 16 - 20 years: 0.03: 21 - 50 years: 0.015; 51 - 60 years: 0.10.  Male 'natural' (i.e. unpoached) mortality by age class: <1 year: 0.15; 1 - 5 years: 0.06; 6 - 50 years: 0.08; 51 - 60 years: 0.15. ( Sukumar et al. 1998 ) Minimum Viable Population: Estimated Minimum Viable Population Density: 0.31 individuals/sq km (0.8 individuals/sq mi). ( Silva & Downing 1994 )

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Project Elephant (PE), a centrally sponsored scheme, was launched in February 1992 to provide financial and technical support to major elephant bearing States in the country for protection of elephants, their habitats and corridors.

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India It also seeks to address the issues of human-elephant conflict and welfare of domesticated elephants. The Project is being implemented in 13 States / UTs , viz. Andhra pradesh , Arunachal Pradesh , Assam , Jharkhand Karnataka Kerala Meghalaya , Nagaland , Orissa , Tamil Nadu Uttranchal , Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India It is a central sponsored scheme that intended to provide all kinds of support to the elephant bearing states in India, be it financial or technical for protection of elephants and their habitats.

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Elephants, the gentle giants of the forests are much loved in India and this project was launched when their numbers started decreasing at an alarming rate. The Project Elephant in India also aimed to decrease the human-elephant battles and help in the welfare of domesticated elephants in India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India AIMS

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India The various aims of Project Elephant are as follows: · Ecologically restoring the natural habitats and migratory routes of the elephants· Resolution of the increasing conflicts between man and elephants in important habitats and moderating the pressures of human and domestic stock activities in important elephant habitats.

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Developing scientific and planned management measures for conservation of elephants and controlling the population of wild Asiatic elephants, which are almost on the verge of extinction. Protecting the elephants from poachers and other unnatural causes of death and preventing illegal ivory trade is also one of the major concerns of the Elephant Project in India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Researching on issues related to elephants and creating public awareness and education programs for it. Eco-development and Veterinary care for the elephants. Project Elephant also aims at maintaining health care and breeding of tame elephants.

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India CENTRAL ASSISTANCE UNDER PROJECT ELEPHANT

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Elephent Reserves: 25 Elephant Reserves (ERs) extending over about 58,000 sq kmt have been formally notified by various State Governments till now and consent for establishment of Baitarini ER & South Orissa in Orissa and Ganga-Jamuna (Shiwalik) ER in U.P has been accorded by MOEF. The concerned State Governments are yet to notify these ERs. List of Elephant Reserves with area and elephant population are as follows:

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Enumeration of Elephants: First time an exclusive exercise for enumeration of wild elephants in the ERs was done during Feb-May 2005. This exercise also sought to experiment with two sampling methods, viz. Block Sampling; and Line Transact-Dung Count (with Retrospective Method of Calculating Dung Decay Rate). PE arranged Training of Trainers and also issued detailed guidelines to the CWLWs and the Field Coordinators. 2005 census figures are given in the above table . Next All India Enumeration of Elephants will be carried out in 2007, while an ER-specific enumeration will be repeated in 2010.

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India MIKE sites: Project Elephant has been formally implementing MIKE (Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants) programme of CITES in 10 ERs since 01.04.2004. These include Shiwalik (Uttaranchal); Eastern Dooars (West Bengal); Mayurbhanj (Orissa); Ripu-Chirang and Dehing-Patkai (Assam); Garo Hills (Meghalaya); Deomali (Arunchal Pradesh; Wayanad (Kerala), Mysore (Karnataka) and Nilgiri (Tamilnadu).

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Research & Consultancy Projects: PE has initiated a 36-months research project (2003-04 to 2006-07) with the help of the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack, for developing high yielding varieties of paddy not relished by elephants; developing elephant-proof storage bins for food grains; and developing elephant repellants. The project is being carried out at the CRRI's research stations in Orissa and Assam

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India PE has also initiated two 36 months research projects (2003-04 to 2006-07) with the help of the Assam Agricultural University on 'Disease management in captive elephants' and 'Anatomical studies on the Asian elephant'. PE has entrusted the WII with a small project (2004-05 to 2005-06) to study the impact of the relocation of the Gujjar on the flora and fauna of Rajaji National Park. PE has also given a small consultancy project (February-July 2005) to the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, to help the West Bengal Forest Department in carrying out a sample-based enumeration of elephants during 2005.

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Training of Veterinarians: PE has been organizing regular refresher courses for veterinarians dealing with wild and domesticated elephants at Kerala Agricultural University, Trichur and Assam Agricultural University, Guwahati.

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Microchips PE has initiated a progamme for registration of domesticated elephants by using microchips. More than 1000 elephants have been microchipped so far in Assam, Arunchal Pradesh, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar and Delhi etc. PE has organized necessary training for this purpose and also arranged for supply of standard microchips and readers to all the States known to possess domesticated elephants

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India THREATS

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Female Asian elephants are not affected by ivory poaching (due to their lack of tusks), so poaching has not affected the overall population numbers of Asian elephants as drastically as it has in the case of the African elephant. However, the poaching of males in some Asian elephant populations has resulted in a highly skewed male:female ratio which can have serious demographic and genetic consequences. ( Sukumar et al. 1998 )

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India The single most important cause of the decline of the Asian elephant has been the loss of habitat. ( Sukumar 1990 ) Through the 1970's, elephant populations continued to undergo habitat encroachment and fragmentation, and in the planning stages of development programs little consideration was given to elephants or other wildlife. ( Olivier 1978 ) In summary, reasons for decline include persecution of wild elephants due to the crop damage they are perceived to cause, hunting (mainly for ivory but also for meat) and habitat loss due to expanding human population and the loss of forests in Asia.

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India

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Dr.J.Pandiyan, Asst.Prof. Wildlife Biology, AVC College India Thank you...

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