Major Elephant Reserves in India

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In February 1992, the Government of India launched the Project Elephant for the protection and management of Asian Elephants in the Indian subcontinent. This allows the thriving of the elephants in their natural habitat. In 2010, the government declared Elephant as the National Heritage Animal of India. India has only 1200 Tusker (male) elephants in India. They are as endangered as the Royal Bengal Tigers. The laws help in the prevention of hunting of these elephants for their tusks and in the development of human-elephant harmony. India has around 50% of the total population of Asian elephants in the world. Let us see major elephant reserves in India.

List of Elephant Reserves in India

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Elephant Reserves in India

The Project Elephant’s main objective is –

  1. To protect elephants, their habitat, and to preserve them in the wild.
  2. To address the issue of man-elephant conflict.
  3. The welfare of captive elephants.
  4. Study and research on the elephants.

MIKE is the abbreviation of Monitoring Illegal Killing of Elephants. It came into existence in 2003 in South Asia in the conference of CITES. The objectives are to – To measure the levels and trends in the illegal poaching and assure changes in the trends for elephant protection and to determine the factors responsible for such changes, and to assess the impact of decisions by the conference of parties to CITES.

Campaign Haathi Mere Saathi came into existence by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in partnership with Wildlife Trust of India. The aim of this campaign is to increase public awareness and develop friendships between elephants and the local population. It is to conserve and protect elephants.

Elephant Task Force has been set up by the Government of India along the lines of the Tiger Task Force. This project aims to bring pragmatic solutions for the conservation of elephants in the term. The wildlife historian and political analyst, Dr. Mahesh Rangarajan headed this project. Other members included welfare activists, elephant biologists, veterinarians.

This Project has been implemented in 16 states of India. India has 30 Elephant Reserves.

Shivalik Elephant Reserve This Reserve consists of three parts – Jim Corbett National Park, Rajaji National Park, and Sona-Nadi Wildlife Sanctuary. This reserve has the highest densities of tuskers in India. This Reserve mostly considers preventing elephant -poaching.

Mayurjharna Elephant Reserve – The location of this Reserve is in the districts of Paschim Medinipur and Bankura in the state of West Bengal. The population of elephants has increased over a hundred in two decades. The area is about 400 sq. km and about 1436 sq. km of the land known as the “Zone of Influence”. It is very near to the Jharkhand state border as well.

Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve – Located in the Keonjhar District of Orissa. It encompasses Simlipal Tiger Reserve, Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary, and Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary. It includes reserve forests, protected forests, private lands, and revenue lands.

Wayanad Elephant Reserve – This is an integral part of the Nilgiri Bioreserve in India. It has a large variety of Indian Bison, elephant, deer, and tiger. It also has endangered flora and fauna. The area is surrounded by teak, areca-nut palm tree, and silver oak. There are several small villages along this reserve where people’s occupation is farming.

Periyar Elephant Reserve – Located in Idukki and Pathanamthitta in Kerala. This park is the only park in India that has an artificial lake flowing through it. This is a tiger and elephant reserve. It stretches over an area of 305 sq. km. Elephants, langurs, tigers, and Nilgiri can be easily spotted here.

Kaziranga Elephant Reserve – The national park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has two-third of the total world population of greater one-horned rhinoceros. Apart from the one-horned rhinos, the national park spreads over an area of 430 sq km. This is an Elephant Reserve situated in Assam.

Eastern Dooars – This Reserve lies on the southern foothills of the Himalayas and north of the Brahmaputra River Basin. The Teesta River flows through Dooars. This place has the Buxa Tiger Reserve as well. This place is home to endangered Tigers, Elephants, and other fauna and flora.

Dandeli Elephant Reserve – It is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka, and known for easily spotting the Black Panther, Leopard, Flying Squirrels, Crocodiles. This is an Elephant Reserve. It was officially taken under Project Elephant on June 4, 2015.

Singhbhum Elephant Reserve – It was the first of all elephant reserves in the country. It was created in the year 2001 under Project Elephant. It has 600 medicinal flora and fauna. The dry deciduous has become an important feature for the Elephants to reside in.

Dihing Patkai Elephant Reserve – Located in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts of Assam. It was declared an elephant reserve in 2004. The Dehing Patkai forms the largest stretch of lowland rainforests in India. The habitat also plays an important role to preserve elephants.

Kameng Elephant Reserve – Located in the Himalayan foothills of West Kameng and East Kameng Districts, Arunachal Pradesh. It was declared an Elephant Reserve in 2002. It has an area of about 2000 sq. km. The headquarters of the reserve is at Seijosa. The reserve includes the Sessa Orchid Sanctuary. Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Pakhui Tiger Reserve and the Kameng River as well.

Mysore Elephant Reserve – It was Karnataka’s first declared Elephant Reserve in 2002. This step was taken by the Union Government. After this, Karnataka got Anshi-Dandeli Forest as its second Elephant Reserve in Uttara Kannada.

Intanki Elephant Reserve – It is situated in the Peren district of Nagaland. It has over 200 sq. km as an area. It was declared a National Park in 1993. Along with elephants, golden langurs, sloth bears, python, wild dogs, etc. It also has dominant flora and fauna. It is a park that has beautiful topography and is ideal for trekking.

Nilgiri Elephant Reserve – This Reserve spreads over 3 states – Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. It almost forms a ring around the Nilgiri Plateau. It belongs to the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in India. This elephant reserve was established in 1986. It has a total sq. km of over 5000.

List of Elephant Reserves in India

Elephant Range Elephant Reserve  State  Total Area 
Eastern India

(southwest Bengal – Jharkhand-Odisha)

1. Mayurjharna ER West Bengal 414
2. Singhbhum ER   Jharkhand 4530
3. Mayurbhanj ER  Odisha 3214
4. Mahanadi ER  Odisha 1038
5. Sambalpur ER  Odisha 427
6. Badalkhol-Tamorpingla Chhattisgarh 1048.30
North Brahmaputra

(Arunachal – Assam)

7. Kameng ER  Arunachal Pradesh 1892
8. Sonitpur ER  Assam 1420
South Brahmaputra

(Assam- Arunachal)

9. Dihing-Patkai ER  Assam 937
10. South Arunachal ER  Arunachal Pradesh 1957.50
Kaziranga

(Assam- Nagaland)

11. Kaziranga – Karbi Anglong ER Assam 3270
12.  Dhansiri-Lungding ER Assam 2740
13. Intanki ER  Nagaland 202
14. Singphan ER  Nagaland 23.57
Eastern Dooars

(Assam- W. Bengal)

15. Chirang-Ripu ER  Assam 2600
16. Eastern Dooars ER  West Bengal 978
E. Himalayas (Meghalaya) 17. Garo Hills ER  Meghalaya 3,500
Nilgiri –Eastern Ghat

(Karnataka- Kerala- Tamilnadu-Andhra)

18. Mysore ER Karnataka 6724
19. Dandeli ER  Karnataka
20. Wayanad ER Kerala 1200
21. Nilgiri ER Tamil Nadu 4663
22. Rayala ER  Andhra Pradesh 766
South Nilgiri

(Kerala- Tamilnadu)

23. Nilambur ER  Kerala 1419
24. Coimbatore ER  Tamil Nadu 566
Western Ghat

(Tamilnadu- Kerala)

25. Anamalai ER  Tamil Nadu 1457
26. Anamudi ER  Kerala 3728
Periyar

(Kerala- Tamilnadu)

27. Periyar  Kerala 3742
28. Srivilliputtur ER Tamil Nadu 1249
Northern India (Uttaranchal-U.P.) 29. Shivalik ER  Uttarakhand 5405
30. Uttar Pradesh ER    Uttar Pradesh 744

State Wise List of Elephants

State Elephants (2017-18)
Karnataka 6049
Assam 5719
Kerala 3054
Tamil Nadu 2761
Odisha 1976
Uttarakhand 1839
Meghalaya 1754
Arunachal Pradesh 1614
Jharkhand 679
Nagaland 446
Chhattisgarh 247
Uttar Pradesh 232
West Bengal 194
Tripura 102
Andhra Pradesh 65
Bihar 25
Gujarat 10
Madhya Pradesh 7
Mizoram 7
Maharashtra 6

Conclusion

The Elephant Reserves are mostly included in the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. They also help in generating revenue in the country. Elephants being the National Heritage Animal of India are to be preserved hence considered to be kept under Projects to prevent them from getting endangered.

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