In Karnataka, a major exercise of elephant census began on 17 May 2017. The census exercise began simultaneously across all protected areas and forests of the state that were identified to harbour elephant population.
The Mysore Elephant Reserve, spread across 11,000 sq km through Bhadra-Nagarahole-Bandipur-BRT Wildlife Sanctuary, Cauvery Wildlife Reserve and Bannerghatta, harbours most of the elephants of Karnataka.
The last elephant census of Karnataka was held in the year 2012, which pegged the State elephant population at 6072 with Bandipur and Nagarahole accounting for nearly 1500 elephants each.
The elephant census in Karnataka is a part of a Nationwide Elephant Census, which is being conducted to minimise possible errors. Presently, the elephant census is being organized in all Southern States simultaneously. a similar exercise was held in eastern India last month.
Four states- Karnataka, Kerala (particularly the Western Ghat regions), Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh account for 40 per cent of the country’s elephant population of more than 12000.
About Elephant Census
• The Elephant Census is conducted every five years.
• Officially known as All India Synchronised Asian Elephant Population Estimation, the census covers all the forest divisions and protected areas where wild elephants are found.
• The nation-wide elephant census is a three-month programme.