World Elephant Day 2020 | UPSC

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World Elephant Day 2020 UPSC

World Elephant Day 2020 | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

Government committed towards a lasting, robust solution to bring an end to Human-Elephant Conflict: Union Environment Minister

      WHY IN NEWS:

Compendium on Best practices of Human-Elephant Conflict Management in India launched on eve of World Elephant Day

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Conservation of Flora and Fauna

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS go through aim , significance , the actual celebration , national and international efforts .

For MAINS dive in into conservation and the best practises followed .

      ISSUE: 

The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet we balance on the brink of seeing the last of this magnificent creature.

WORLD ELEPHANT DAY 2020

  • Human-elephant conflict is a major conservation concern in all elephant range countries including India.
  • However, human–elephant conflict is not a new phenomenon and records exist of records exist of elephant crop raiding in Asia as early as 300 BC.

BACKGROUND

On August 12, 2012, the inaugural World Elephant Day was launched to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants.

AIM

  • World Elephant Day celebrated on August 12 is an international annual event, dedicated to the preservation and protection of the world’s elephants.

The goal of World Elephant Day is to create awareness on elephant conservation.

  • This includes sharing knowledge and positive solutions for the better protection and management of wild and captive elephants.

EFFORTS

INTERNATIONAL

World Elephant Day 2020

Moving Giants is the largest elephant “re-wilding” effort ever attempted from South Africa to Mozambique, as 200+ elephants will journey more than 1,000 miles to their new home.

NATIONAL

The National Portal on human elephant conflict called “Surakhsya” will be opened .
 

  • This will be for collection of real time information .
  • It will manage the conflicts on a real time basis will help to set the data collection protocols, data transmission pipelines and data visualization tools .
  • This will enable policy-makers to leverage data for policy formulation and for preparation of Action Plans for mitigation of conflicts.

OTHER EFFORTS

  • Project Elephant launched by the GOI in the year 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.

Gaj Yatra’ a nationwide awareness campaign to celebrate elephants and highlight the necessity of securing elephant corridors.

  • Monitoring the Killing of Elephants (MIKE) programme was launched in 2003 to prevent illegal killing of elephants from across Africa and Asia.

World Elephant Day 2020

BEST PRACTISES

RETAINING ELEPHANTS IN NATURAL HABITATS

  • Development and Maintenance of Perrenial Water Holes
  • Solar Powered Borewells
  • Creation of Fodder Plantations

Fire Management in forests.

IN-SITU PREPARATIONS

  • Adopting biofences as a biological elephant barricade which is made of thorny plant varieties. Biofencing is cost effective method.
  • Invasive species like Prosopis and wattle needs to be removed.

Radio collaring of elephants is used for tracking of movement patterns.

  • Early warning SMS alert systems/WhatsApp Group are useful in situations where encounters with elephants are high.
  • Chilli is known to have an irritating effect on olfactory nerves of elephants and act as a psychological barrier.

Rail fencing though expensive is eco-friendly and more effective than solar electric fences.   

  • A series of bee hives is created at short intervals along fences at the boundary of the enclave. The bee hives are connected to the fence to drive away elephants.

STRENGTHENING ELEPHANT CORRIDORS

Relocation of Villages from Elephant Corridors/Protected Areas
 

  • Securement of Elephant Corridors.

DETERRENT METHODS

  • Trip Alarm, Sensory Based Alarm
  • Crop Guarding
  • Use of Chilli Smoke.

REMOVAL OF ELEPHANTS FROM HUMAN HABITATION/AREA

  • Kumki elephants are effective in driving away elephants from villages, for monitoring/capturing/ tranquilizing/ translocating/ training/ hunting of problem elephants.
  • Growing of alternate crops like citrus, chilies, ginger not liked by elephants.

Chhattisgarh information on elephant movement is also communicated through radios at specific timings on channel called “Hamara haathi hamara gonth”.

IUCN STATUS

World Elephant Day 2020

Asian elephants are listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

  • This has been done most of the range states except India, have lost their viable elephant populations due to loss of habitats & poaching etc.
  • The current population estimates indicate that there are about 50,000 -60000 Asian elephants in the world.
  • More than 60 % of the population is held in India.
  • Indian Elephant has also been listed in the Appendix I of the Convention of the Migratory species in the recently concluded Conference of Parties of CMS 13 at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat in February 2020.

Elephant is the Natural Heritage Animal of India and India also celebrates this day to spread awareness towards conservation of the species.

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Around 90% of African elephants have been wiped out in the past century – largely due to the ivory trade.
  • Elephants communicate in a variety of ways – including sounds like trumpet calls .
  • The largest female elephant is the leader of the herd.

Elephant tusks are actually enlarged incisor teeth which first appear when elephants are around 2 years old.

  • The gestation period of elephants is 22 months.
  • Baby elephants weigh around 100kg on average.
  • Elephants spend between 12 to 15 hours eating grass, plants and fruit every single day!

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

LET US DO IT

  • Tweet #WorldElephantDay to spread the word about the plight of elephants .
  • Sign the World Elephant Day Pledge to show your support.
  • Tweet #BeElephantEthical to promote safe, ethical elephant tourism.
  • Do not support organizations that exploit or abuse elephants and other animals for entertainment and profit.

Do not buy ivory or other wildlife products. Be an elephant aware consumer.

  • Study elephants in their “keystone” role in the environment and interrelationships with plants and other animals because all of nature is interconnected.
  • If you wish to experience elephants in their natural environment, choose eco-tourism operators who support local elephant conservation projects .
  • Support organizations that are protecting wild elephant habitat.

Use your love of elephants and World Elephant Day, August 12, to start a conversation with the next person you meet. 

SUGGESTED READING : hhttps://worldelephantday.org/about 
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | World Elephant Day 2020 | UPSC

DISCOVER MORE : IUCN LIST

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