Elephant census from May 22, mock drill today

The collected data will be analysed at range, division and circle levels and finally at the headquarters for arriving at the final figure.
Representational image.
Representational image. (Photo | Sunish P Surendran, EPS)

BHUBANESWAR: The much-awaited elephant census in the state, to be conducted after a gap of seven years, will commence from Wednesday.

Sources in the wildlife wing of Forest department said prior to the three-day exercise, to be conducted between May 22 and 24, a mock head count exercise, involving trained staff, will be conducted on Tuesday.

After the mock exercise, the census units with kits will take positions and continue the counting exercise for the next three days till May 24.

The All Odisha Elephant Estimation 2024 will be taken up across 43 divisions using direct count method and the process for the same has been set in motion. Department officials said a total of 1,136 machans along with barracks, watch towers and other such establishments will be used by the census teams.

The collected data will be analysed at range, division and circle levels and finally at the headquarters for arriving at the final figure.

“The machans have been set up at locations close to water bodies and wet areas. Besides, the full moon will be on May 23 which will be another advantage in taking up the exercise during the scheduled period,”said one of the regional chief conservators of forest (RCCF).

As per the last jumbo census conducted in the state way back in 2017, Odisha had recorded a total head count of 1,976, a marginal rise from the previous census figure of 1,954 in 2015. No head count exercise has been taken thereafter due to the 2019 summer cyclone, outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic and other reasons.

On the other hand, the state has lost over 400 elephants in five years between between 2019-20 and 2023-24 owing to various reasons including poaching, electrocution and accidents.

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