Census reveals a total of 1,103 wild elephants in forests of Kodagu

The forest staff used techniques like the dung density method where they used photographs and GPS to scientifically record elephant dung.

Published: 06th June 2023 05:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2023 05:28 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purposes 

By Express News Service

MADIKERI: A total of 1103 wild elephant population has been recorded inside the forests of Kodagu. The statistics were released by the forest department following the completion of the elephant census.

However, the population of the wild elephants herded inside the estates of Kodagu has not been taken into consideration and a fresh census is required to verify the same.

The elephant census is conducted once in five years across the southern states and the same began across Kodagu in the month of May. Over 800 foresters from the department were involved in counting the population of the elephants across the forests of Kodagu.

The census was conducted in three phases and was spread across three days.

During the first phase, the forest staff took to the block count method and recorded the number of elephants sighted by the staff across designated forest regions.

The dung density method was used in the second phase of the counting where the foresters scientifically recorded the data of the elephant dung through photographs and GPS locations.

In the third phase, the foresters halted by the lakes, rivers and other water bodies inside the forest and counted the number of male, female and calf elephants in the herd.

The forest department confirmed that 200 teams with three to four forest staff were formed to conduct the census. The staff was geared with arms and ammunition in case of any untoward incident.

The census unfurled across the four divisions of the department including Madikeri, Madikeri Wildlife, Virajpet and Nagarahole Tiger Reserve divisions. While a total of 787 elephants were sighted in Nagarahole, the Madikeri division recorded 179 elephants.

The Anekadu area near Kushalnagar alone had 116 wild elephants, which falls under the Madikeri division. Virajpet and Madikeri Wildlife had a population of 73 and 64 wild elephants respectively. 

Conservator of Forests of  Kodagu Circle BN Murthy said, “The census was conducted only inside the forest area. However, there is a need to conduct the census within the estates and this will increase the numbers. It is not possible to get the actual count and the census was conducted across 1.15 lakh hectares of forest land in Kodagu.” 


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