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30 years of Project Elephant

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environment Conservation


Source: HT

 Context: President Droupadi Murmu took part in Gaj Utsav at Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) in Assam to mark 30 years of Project Elephant.

Aspect Project ElephantInformation
Launch year1992
TypeCentrally-sponsored scheme
AimTo protect elephants and improve their habitat and corridors, reduce human-elephant conflict
Elephant reserves33 elephant reserves have been notified (Terai ER in Utter Pradesh became 33rd India’s ER); 101 elephant corridors identified
ObjectivesProvide financial and technical support to wildlife management efforts, ensure the long-term survival
Protect elephants, their habitats and migration corridors
Support research on ecology and management of elephants
Create awareness of conservation among local people
Provide improved veterinary care for captive elephants


Other steps taken are:

  • Gaj Yatra (a nationwide awareness campaign to protect elephants)
  • Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) program (2003, to monitor the effectiveness of field conservation efforts)
  • Gaj Soochna’ mobile application for forest officials
  • Upholding the right of passage of elephants by SC
  • Involvement of mahouts and their families in the welfare of elephants
  • Gaj Utsav
  • Asian Elephant Alliance, an umbrella initiative by five NGOs, had, last year, come together to secure 96 out of the 101 existing corridors used by elephants across 12 States in India.


Status of Elephants in India:

  • India has about 27,000 Asian Elephants, which is the world’s largest population of the species.
  • As per Elephant Census (2017), Karnataka has the highest number of elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054)
  • More than 60% of the world’s elephant population is in India.
  • The elephant is the Natural Heritage Animal of India


Characteristics of Elephants:

  • They are highly intelligent with strong family bonds
  • They have the longest gestation period of all mammals (18 to 22 months)
  • Adult male Asian elephants are less social than females.
  • The elephant makes a low, rumbling sound that can be heard up to 5 miles away.
  • An elephant can carry up to 7 tons, making it one of the world’s strongest animals.


Insta Links

Common survey to count elephants and big cats


Mains Links

Write a short note on elephant conservation programmes in India. (150 Words)


Prelims Links

With reference to Indian elephants, consider the following statements: (2020)

  1. The leader of an elephant group is a female.
  2. The maximum gestation period can be 22 months.
  3. An elephant can normally go on calving till the age of 40 years only.
  4. Among the States in India, the highest elephant population is in Kerala.


Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 4 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 3 and 4 only


Ans: A