What The FAQ: GoI to secure elephant corridors. What are they and how many elephants do we really have left?

According to the latest data, there are 101 corridors across India. But this report is from 2007 and experts say the number has increased
Picture: Edexlive
Picture: Edexlive

A week after an elephant was stuck in the rapids in an Odisha river and subsequently died, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has started a project to identify and secure elephant corridors across India. The corridors, if notified, will give legal protection to the movement of elephants. In today's #WhatTheFAQ, we look at the new plan and the number of elephants in India and where they are.

What are elephant corridors?

Elephant corridors are narrow pathways between natural habitats of elephants that allow them to move freely from one location to another without coming in contact with humans. This reduces the risk of man-elephant conflict that has caused quite the stir across the country in the recent past as well.

How many corridors are there?

According to the latest data, there are 101 corridors across India. A joint report from the Environment Ministry and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) in 2005 said that there were 88 corridors. Two years later, the number was updated to 101. Experts say that the number of corridors has increased over the years due to new roads that were built or even due to the change of vegetation in the area. The elephants have started looking for new routes to travel.

How many elephants are there in India? 

The last census that took place in 2017, puts the number at more than 27,000. Recently, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav announced that India will be conducting its first scientific estimation of the population of elephants in 2022 and released protocols regarding that. 

Where do you find the most number of Asian Elephants in India?

While 60 per cent of the Asian Elephant population is in India, Karnataka has the highest number of elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054).

How serious is the man-elephant conflict?

In 2020 alone, 87 elephants and 359 people died in such conflicts. But this is a stark rise in elephant deaths in 2019-20 where only 19 elephants died. But the human casualties were higher in that year — 585.

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