Wildlife Conservation Efforts

In news: Nagarhole Tiger Reserve


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, Project Elephant

Why in the News?

  • Ashwatthama, a 38-year-old elephant, died of electrocution near Karnataka’s Nagarahole Tiger Reserve.
    • The High Court of Karnataka suo motu initiated a PIL petition to inquire about this incident attributed to a lack of care and diligence by concerned authorities.

Nagarahole Tiger Reserve

  • Located in the Western Ghats in Karnataka; Spans over 643 square kilometers.
  • Declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and a tiger reserve in 1999.
  • Part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is recognised as an Important Bird Area (IBA) and a Project Tiger, Project Elephant reserve.
  • Managed by the Karnataka Forest Department with efforts focused on conservation, ecotourism, and community engagement.
  • The reserve is crisscrossed by several rivers such as the Kabini River, Lakshmana Tirtha River, and Moyar River.
    • Flora and Fauna: Known for its diverse ecosystem, including tropical and moist deciduous forests, home to a variety of wildlife such as tigers, leopards, elephants, gaur, and several species of deer and birds.

Protective Measures: Project Elephant

  • It was launched in the year 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the following objectives:
    • To protect elephants, their habitat & corridors
    • To address issues of man-animal conflict
    • The welfare of captive elephants
  • It covers 23 states across India.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change provides financial and technical support to major elephant range states in the country through the project.
  • It contributed to the increase in the wild elephant population from around 25,000 in 1992 to about 30,000 in 2021.

Status of Elephant Conservation in India

Population Estimate
  • India hosts the largest population of wild Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus), with around 29,964 individuals,
  • Approximately 60% of the global population (2017 census).
Leading States Karnataka holds the highest number of elephants, followed by Assam and Kerala.
Conservation Status
  • IUCN Red List:  Endangered.
  • CMS: Appendix I.
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Listed under Schedule I,
  • CITES: Appendix I.



[2020] With reference to Indian elephants, consider the following statements:

  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

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