Project Elephant 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
Financial and Technical support are being provided to major elephant bearing States in the country. Main activities under the Project are as follows:
Estimation of wild elephant population in the year 2007 and 2012.
- Ecological restoration of existing natural habitats and migratory routes of elephants;
- Development of scientific and planned management for conservation of elephant habitats and viable population of Wild Asiatic elephants in India;
- Promotion of measures for mitigation of man elephant conflict in crucial habitats and moderating pressures of human and domestic stock activities in crucial elephant habitats;
- Strengthening of measures for protection of Wild elephants from poachers and unnatural causes of death;
- Research on Elephant management related issues;
- Public education and awareness programmes;
- Veterinary care
- Elephant Rehabilitation/Rescue Centres
The all India enumeration of wild population of elephants in the country is carried out at every five-year interval. The comparative figures as below for the states shows that the estimated population of wild elephants in the country has increased to 29391-30711 as compared to 27657-27682 in 2007.
Till now 28 Elephant Reserves (ERs) extending over about 61830.08 sq km have been formally notified by various State Governments. Consent for establishment 2 more ERs – Khasi Elephant Reserve in Meghalaya and Dandeli Elephant Reserve in Karnataka has been accorded by MoEF&CC. Inclusion of Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary in Mysore Elephant Reserve has also been approved by the Ministry. The concerned State Governments are yet to notify these ERs.
Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) Programme
Mandated by CoP resolution of CITES, MIKE program started in South Asia in the year 2003 with following purpose:
- To measure levels and trends in the illegal hunting of elephants;
- To determine changes in these trends over time; and
- To determine the factors causing or associated with such changes, and to try and assess in particular to what extent observed trends are a result of any decisions taken by the Conference of the Parties to CITES.