Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology
Why in news?
The Union Environment Minister on the eve of World Elephant Day at an event said that efforts are in full swing to provide food and water to the animals in the forests itself to deal with the growing human-animal conflict cases.
- To manage conflicts and avoid loss of valuable lives of both the humans & elephants, it is important to strengthen the human-elephant coexistence.
- A booklet was released which is a pictorial guide of a variety of management inventions successfully adopted by the elephant range states and serves as a reference manual for adoption of the best possible site-specific mitigation measures that can be adopted to reduce human – elephant conflict.
- The National Portal on human elephant conflict called “Surakhsya” for collection of real time information & also for managing the conflicts on a real time basis will help to set the data collection protocols, data transmission pipelines and data visualization tools to enable policy-makers to leverage HEC data for policy formulation and for preparation of Action Plans for mitigation of conflicts.
World Elephant Day
- World Elephant Daycelebrated on August 12 is an international annual event, dedicated to the preservation and protection of the world’s elephants.
- The goal of World Elephant Day is to create awareness on elephant conservation, and to share knowledge and positive solutions for the better protection and management of wild and captive elephants.
- Asian elephants are listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
- The current population estimates indicate that more than 60 % of the Asian elephant population is held in India.
- Indian Elephant has also been listed in the Appendix I of the Convention of the Migratory species.
- Elephant is the Natural Heritage Animal of India and India also celebrates this day to spread awareness towards conservation of the species.
- Elephant-human conflict is a result of habitat loss and fragmentation.
- When elephants and humans interact, there is conflict from crop raiding, injuries and deaths to humans caused by elephants, and elephants being killed by humans for reasons other than ivory and habitat degradation.
- Such encounters foster resentment against the elephants amongst the human population and this can result in elephants being viewed as a nuisance and killed.
- In addition to the direct conflicts between humans and elephants, elephants also suffer indirect costs like degradation of habitat and loss of food plants.