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| Last Updated: 09/08/2019

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Appeal of the Director of Environment on World Elephant Day 12th August 2019

APPEAL OF THE DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENT ON WORLD ELEPHANT DAY 12th AUGUST 2019

World Elephant Day is observed every year on August 12 to create awareness and designed to celebrate the world's largest land animals and bring attention to critical threats elephants are facing as well as to support conservation efforts.

India is an abode for the major population of Asia’s wild elephants. The Asian Elephant Elephas maximus was once widely distributed throughout the country, including in states like Punjab and Gujarat. Currently, they are found only in 16 states, in four fragmented populations, in South, North, Central and North-east India. The elephant has been accorded the highest possible protection under the Indian wildlife law through its listing under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 of India.

Elephants in India are closely linked to cultural and religious heritage and also play a key role in the history of the country. However, poaching and deforestation to fulfill the demands of commercial development have led to continuous decay in the giant’s population in the country.  Project Elephant was started in 1992 by the Indian Government. After this project, there was a better control over illegal trade of the objects made from the elephant’s body parts. Major protected areas of the country are conserving this mammal efficiently after the execution of project elephant in India. The present situation of elephants needs the proper awareness among the citizens and government alike.

There are four Elephant reserves in Tamil Nadu, such as Nilgiris Eastern Ghats (Nilgiri Elephant Reserve), Nilambur Silent Valley Coimbatore Elephant Reserve (Nilambur Elephant Reserve), Periyar Elephant Reserve (Srivilliputhur Elephant Reserve) and Anamalai Parambikulam Elephant Reserve (Anamalai Elephant Reserve). There are four major issues, such as destruction, fragmentation and degradation of elephant habitats, poaching of elephants for tusks to meet demand of ivory in national and international markets; human-elephant conflicts and issues relating to captive elephants. However it is very important to raise awareness among general masses, particularly student communities, about the problems faced by India. 

On this World lion Day, I urge all to take responsibility to take a pledge of saving the elephants and their habitats where they can thrive under proper protection and care. On this day, everyone should step forward to share the views and ideas to conserve this mighty beast. In this way, it can play a significant role in saving the environment as well.

Director

Department of Environment