The ‘Elephant Day’ celebrations, as part of the 62nd wildlife week which concluded on Saturday, brought home the threats plaguing wild elephants due to anthropogenic pressures.
Conducted by the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and the Malai Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, the Forest Department helped create awareness on the issues pertaining to conflict and the threats to elephants.
Habitat fragmentation and destruction, death due to electrocution, poaching for ivory were some of the threats to the elephants and this was highlighted through a series of events.
The authorities said that the Cauvery wildlife sanctuary and the Malai Mahadeshwara wildlife sanctuary along with the BRT Tiger Reserve and the Bannerghatta National Park formed the largest area of natural habitat (Dry deciduous and dry thorn forest) in south India and as per the 2012 elephant census, there were about 6,100 elephants in Karnataka. Of these, Cauvery and MM Hills alone supported around 800 animals.
This habitat is contiguous with the Bandipur tiger reserve, the Sathyamangalam tiger reserve, the Mudumalai tiger reserve and the Nagarahole tiger reserve and the department brought out these aspects and other important elements.
The thrust was on the dos and donts for general public to avoid human-elephant conflict. There was a special lecture by Nishant, a wildlife scientist from Indian Institute of Science, and it was followed by a mega students rally in Kollegal.
Around 1,200 students from various schools of Kollegal taluk participated.
A release said that the students rally, held on Saturday was flagged off by B.G. Pramod, senior civil judge & JMFC, Kollegal, H.K. Umesh, Principle Civil Judge & JMFC Kollegal and N.B. Jayalakshmi, Additional Civil Judge & JMFC Kollegal.