5 States to count jumbos in unison (Bhubaneswar, India)


The New Indian Express

Date Published

For the first time, five eastern Indian States will conduct elephant
enumeration at the same time to eliminate double counting.

The Wildlife Organisation of Odisha Government in collaboration with
Project Elephant has planned the census which will be conducted across
Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar apart from Odisha.

A meeting of the senior officers of Forest departments of these States
has been convened on March 10-11 in Bhubaneswar where the exact census
dates would be chalked out apart from the methodology.

Eastern Indian States being one of the largest holders of elephants in
the country after South, the move is aimed at eliminating any
duplication in numbers since the jumbos migrate across the borders.
The migration from Odisha to WB and Jharkhand and from Jharkhand to WB
is frequent.

The tentative dates for the census have been fixed for May 9-12 but
would be finalised only after discussion among the participating
officers. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests SS Srivastava will
formally unveil the meet, said Regional Chief Conservator of Forests,
Angul Sudarshan Panda who is coordinating the meeting.

Two different methodologies would be adopted for the census. Apart
from direct sighting, the Dung Decay method will also be employed. An
indirect methodology, the Dung Decay is a statistical method which is
employed to calculate elephant numbers by monitoring the decay rate.
The direct methodology, as it is, will use sighting in forests and
waterholes in a line transect method.

Elephant expert R Sukumar has also been invited to take part in the
meet. The officers will also go for a field trial at Chandaka on March