Elephant number rises to 190 from 179 in Amangarh, other forests (India)


Harveer Dabas, The Times of India

Date Published
Bijnor: Western UP’s forest reserve areas spanning Shivalik, Amangarh and Rajgarh have become a haven for wild elephants. Earlier there were 179 pachyderms here but now, the number has risen to 190, according to the data released by the forest department here on Saturday.

Foresters attributed the presence of these jumbos in these areas is abundant water holes, sugarcane fields. lush green forests and heavy growth of shrubs.

The elephant census was conducted from May 23 to 26 has been completed.

According divisional forest officer, Bijnor, M Semmaran, “The census had been started on May 23 and was completed on Friday evening. The census was carried out through three methods —block counting, dung method and water holes’ sightings method.”

Semmaran added, “The census was carried out in Shivalik range, Amangarh tiger reserve and Najibabad’s Rajgarh, simultaneously. The team, conducting census, included forest officials and wildlife experts. According to data, 64 elephants were found in Amangarh while last year, only 59 were sighted. That shows an increase of five elephants. Similarly, 24 elephants were sighted in Shivalik range of Saharanpur district.”

Giving more details, DFO, Najibabad, Praveen Raghav, told TOI, “We have completed the census. This year, about 102 elephants were sighted in Rajgarh elephant reserve range. Last year, the number of jumbos was about 96. But this year, there is an increase of six elephants which is a good sign.”

Explaining why the number of jumbos has increased, DFO, Bijnor, Semmaran said, “There are 11 water holes in Amangarh while 11 are located in Rajgarh. Earlier, there were no borewells in the region. But now, we have drilled wells to maintain higher amount of water in the water holes. There is no shortage of water.

“Another factor is that there are plenty of sugarcane fields around these forest areas. The sugarcane attracts elephants from far off places. There is plenty of grass and also shrubs in this area.” Semmaran added.

“Another interesting point is that elephant move from one place to another because of seasonal and weather conditions,” the DFO said.

About sightings of elephants at some water holes in Amangarh tiger reserve, Semmaran said, “Many elephants were seen drinking water and sand bathing. Interestingly, some minutes before a herd of elephants reached the water hole, a tigers was lapping up water. On seeing the elephants, it disappeared in the forest.”