Odisha: Elephant Population Grows By 122 Over Seven Years

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In Odisha, the number of elephants has gone up by 122, from 1,976 in 2017 to 2,098 now. The elephants spread over 38 forest divisions include 313 adult tuskers, 12 adult makhnas, 748 adult females, 148 sub-adult males, 282 sub-adult females, 209 juveniles and 385 calves. This census is the outcome of the just concluded elephant census in the state following traditional methods of counting by direct sighting. A total of 1,214 machans were constructed in 1,905 census units across the state and more than 5,700 personnel were engaged in the exercise.

Akashvani correspondent reports that the population of elephants in Odisha has gone up by 122 in seven years. According to the latest elephant census report, the three elephant reserves in the state – Mahanadi, Mayurbhanj and Sambalpur have 584 elephants, which is around 28 per cent of the total jumbo population in Odisha. Dhenkanal division has the highest 239 elephants, followed by Athagarh 178, Satkosia Wildlife 138, Keonjhar 135, Bonai 121, Angul 119, Baripada 105, Similipal North 103 and Similipal South 101. A significant increase in the number of elephants has been recorded in the divisions of Angul, Athagarh, Dhenkanal, Baripada, Chandaka, Khurda, Bonai and Keonjhar. However, there has been a decline in the jumbo count in Similipal North and South besides Balasore Wildlife, Rairangpur, Balangir, Paralakhemundi and a few other divisions. This may be due to the overall change in movement patterns of elephants in the state for their foraging habitat and change in land use pattern. The census report further said Odisha has a large, well-established elephant population with a stable age distribution and growth rate of about 3 per cent. The elephant deaths, during the last five years, have been within the range of 3 per cent to 4.5 per cent of the total population. The least number of 66 jumbo deaths were reported in 2023-24 financial year. The census also estimated that about 2,100 to 2,200 elephants are using the forests of Odisha during a year as there is inter-state migration of jumbos from Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.

Disclaimer: This press release is sourced from News On AIR, Prasar Bharti and Press Information Bureau India (PIB).

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