Elephant in india-The hindu-30-07-2022
Context : Discovery of 12 carcasses of elephants, some having bullet wounds, in the past two months has brought under sharp focus the spurt in poaching of jumbos in Odisha.
Elephant ( Elephas maximus) is the largest terrestrial mammal of India . Elephant being wide ranging animal requires large areas. The requirement of food and water for elephants are very high and therefore their population can be supported only by forests that are under optimal conditions. The status of elephant can be the best indicator of the status of the forests.
IUCN : ENDANGERED
CITES :Appendix I
Asian elephants were believed to be widely distributed - from Tigris - Euphrates in West Asia eastward through Persia into the Indian sub-continent, South and Southeast Asia including Sri Lanka, Java, Sumatra, Borneo and up to North China. However currently they are confined to Indian Subcontinent, South East Asia and some Asian Islands - Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia. About 60% of the Asian elephant population is in India.
The Government of India has further established Project Elephant under the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MOEFF&CC) to monitor and regulate the welfare of both wild and captive elephants. Project Elephant was established in 1992 with the overarching aim of providing technical assistance to the protection and management of the population of wild elephants in India.
On the occasion of World Elephant Day this year, Project Elephant released a detailed report on the best practices for management of human-elephant conflict in India. The report laid down the details of how various new practices have been introduced to make sure that the human-elephant interactions are effectively controlled.
IMPORTANT SECTIONS OF THE WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT 1972:
The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, was amended in 2002 and banned the sale of captive elephants which were not registered with the Chief Wildlife Warden of the State. If an elephant is owned without being declared, the Forest Department has the authority to cease the elephant on the grounds of illegal ownership.
Section 9 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 talks about the prohibition of hunting of the animals listed under Schedule I, II, III, IV. The elephant is a protected species under Schedule I and so is the sloth bear! Hunting of animals listed under these Schedules will invite heavy punishment and incarceration of up to 7 years.
Section 40 (2) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 prohibits the acquisition, possession and transfer of a captive elephant without the written permission of the Chief Wildlife Warden of the State.
Section 42 reinstates that the Ownership Certificate can be issued to the person who has the lawful authority of the captive animal listed under Schedule I and II.
Section 48 (b) clearly states that no wild animal under Schedule I and II can be captured, sold, purchased, transferred and transported unless the Authorised Officer does not certify the lawful possession of the same.
Section 40 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, also talks about the mandatory issuance of Transit Permit (TP) by the State Forest Department when an elephant is being transported from one state to another. Additionally, TP has to be issued by each state from which the elephant will pass through including the state in which the elephant will be finally going to.
WWF supports human-elephant conflict mitigation, biodiversity conservation, and awareness-building among local communities in two elephant habitats in the Eastern Himalayas, the North Bank Landscape and the Kaziranga Karbi-Anglong Landscape, and in the Nilgiris Eastern Ghats Landscape in South India. In Cambodia, WWF is trains, equips, and supports local staff to patrol protected areas and assess elephant distribution and numbers.