World Elephant Day
Part of: GS Prelims and GS- III – Environment; Conservation
- The World Elephant Day is celebrated on 12th August every year to spread awareness for the conservation and protection of the largest mammal on land.
- The day was launched in 2012 to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants.
- Asian Elephants: There are three subspecies of Asian elephant which are the Indian, Sumatran and Sri Lankan.
- Global Population: Estimated 20,000 to 40,000.
- More than 60% of the world’s elephant population is in India.
- IUCN Red List Status: Endangered.
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I.
- African Elephants: There are two subspecies of African elephants, the Savanna (or bush) elephant and the Forest elephant.
- Escalation of poaching.
- Habitat loss.
- Human-elephant conflict.
- Mistreatment in captivity.
- Abuse due to elephant tourism.
Steps Taken by India for Conservation
- Gaj Yatra which is a nationwide awareness campaign to celebrate elephants and highlight the necessity of securing elephant corridors.
- The Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) programme, launched in 2003, is an international collaboration that tracks trends in information related to the illegal killing of elephants from across Africa and Asia, to monitor effectiveness of field conservation efforts.
- Project Elephant: It is a centrally sponsored scheme and was launched in February 1992 for the protection of elephants, their habitats and corridors.
- Has enabled human-elephant coexistence in southern India
- Acts as an early warning mechanism to alert people when elephants are nearby, minimizing negative human-elephant interactions, and increasing people’s tolerance towards elephants.
- By Mr. Ananda Kumar
News Source: TH