Common Survey to Count Elephants and Tigers
Part of: GS Prelims and GS- III – Environment; Conservation
In news From December, India will move to a system that will count tigers and elephants as part of a common survey.
- The announcement was made on 12th August which is celebrated as World Elephant Day.
- The tiger survey is usually held once in four years and elephants are counted once in five years.
How are the Tiger and elephant numbers estimated till now?
- Since 2006, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, which is affiliated to the Environment Ministry, has a standardised protocol in place which is used by States to estimate tiger numbers.
- Based on sightings in camera traps and indirect estimation methods, tiger numbers are computed.
- Elephant numbers largely rely on States directly counting the number of elephants.
- In recent years, techniques such as analysing dung samples have also been deployed to estimate birth rates and population trends in elephants.
- There were 2,997 tigers (2018-19 survey) and 29,964 elephants (2017 survey) in India.
Need for common survey
- Given that 90% of the area occupied by elephants and tigers is common, and once estimation methods are standardised, having a common survey can significantly save costs.