Elephant Reserves in India

Elephant Reserves

India is a land of many species that are conserved by Government Schemes, which directly or indirectly show impact on biodiversity of India. In the process of conserving biodiversity in order to provide habitats for endangered species, and protecting them with the Schemes supported by Government, Project Elephant was established in the year 1992. Apart from project Elephant, UNESCO world heritage sites, wildlife sanctuaries, conservation reserves, community reserves, tiger reserves, marine protected areas, coastal and marine biodiversity areas, biosphere reserves are also managed by Indian Government.

Elephant India

Elephant ( Elephas maximus) is the largest terrestrial mammal of India . Elephant being wide ranging animal requires large areas.  The requirement of food and water for elephants are very high and therefore their population can be supported only by forests that are under optimal conditions. The status of elephant can be the best indicator of the status of the forests.

India is home to between 50 and 60% of all of Asia’s wild elephants and about 20% of the domesticated elephants. As such, the country is of paramount importance for the survival of the species. The elephant plays a central role in Indian life and has done for many centuries. Elephants are closely associated with religious and cultural heritage, playing an important role in the country’s history. They remain revered today.

What are Elephant Reserves?

In order to protect elephants, their habitat, and migration routes, address issues relating to man-animal conflict and ensure the welfare of elephants kept in captivity, the Government of India established Project Elephant as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in 1992.

Elephant reserves were established towards this end. In 16 of India’s 28 states, the Indian Elephant is frequently sighted, with a concentration in the Southern Western Ghats, North-Eastern India, Eastern India, Central India, and Northern India.

Elephant Reserve

Elephant Reserves in India

After the announcement of Project Elephant, it is observed that there exist 33 Elephant Reserves in India till date. These reserves are from only 16 States/Union Territories in India as these states geographically exist in the range of Annamalai-Nelliampathy, Brahmagiri-Nilgiri-Eastern Ghats, East-Central, Eastern-South, Kameng-Sonitpur, Kaziranga, Meghalaya, North Bengal-Greater Manas, North-Western and Periyar-Agasthyamalai.

The following are the Elephant reserves in India, that are mentioned with the area they cover and the population of elephants reside there.

Mayurjharna Elephant Reserve belongs to East-Central Elephant Range. This reserve was established in the year 2002, in the state of West Bengal. It covers an area of 414 Square Kilometers, with population of 96 elephants.

Singhbhum Elephant Reserve belongs to East-Central Elephant Range. This reserve was established in the year 2001, in the state of Jharkhand. It covers an area of 4,530 square kilometers, with population of 371 elephants.

Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve is located in the range of East-Central Elephant Range. It is established in the year 2001 in Orissa state with an area of 3,214 square kilometers. Estimated elephant population was 465.

Mahanadi Elephant Reserve is established in the year 2002, under East-Central Elephant Range in the state of Orissa covering an area of 1,038square kilometers with 464 elephants.

Sambalpur Elephant Reserve is in the East-Central Elephant Range, which was established in the year 2002. This reserve also belongs to Orissa with an area of 427 square kilometers and elephant population of 336.

Baitarni Elephant Reserve is under East-Central Elephant Range, that is in the state of Orissa  with 1,755square kilometers and 108 elephants.

South Orissa Elephant Reserve  is located in the range of East-Central Elephant Range in the state of Orissa with 1,049square kilometers and 138 elephants.

Lemru Elephant Reserve is located in Chhattisgarh State within East-Central Elephant Range with elephant population of 450.

Badalkhol-Tamorpingla Elephant Reserve belongs to East-Central Elephant Range of Chhattisgarh state covering 4,216 square kilometers and elephant population of 138.

Kameng Elephant Reserve belongs to Kameng-Sonitpur Elephant Range established in the year 2002. 1,892 square kilometers of area is covered in this reserve, in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Sonitpur Elephant Reserve belongs to Kameng-Sonitpur Elephant Range and was established in the year 2003 in the state of Assam. It covers an area of 1,420 square kilometers with an elephant population of 612.

Dihing-Patkai Elephant Reserve falls in the range of Eastern-South Elephant Range, was established in the year 2003 in Assam state. This reserve covers an area of 937 square kilometers with an elephant population of 295.

South Arunachal Elephant Reserve is in the Eastern-South Elephant Range, of Arunachal Pradesh state. It covers an area of approximately 900+ square kilometers, and elephant population of 129.

Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong Elephant Reserve is under Kaziranga Elephant Range, established in the year 2003. This reserve is located in Assam state with 3,270 square kilometers area and 1,940 elephants.

Dhansiri-Lungding Elephant Reserve also belongs to Kaziranga Elephant Range, established in the year 2003 in the state of Assam. It covers an area of 2,740 square kilometers with 275 elephants.

Intanki Elephant Reserve belongs to Kaziranga Elephant Range, established in the year 2005 at Nagaland state. It covers an area of 202 square kilometers with 30 elephants.

Chirang-Ripu Elephant Reserve falls under North Bengal-Greater Manas Elephant Range and was established in the year 2003 in the state of Assam state. This covers an area of 2,600 square kilometers with an elephant population of 658.

Eastern Dooars Elephant Reserve is under North Bengal-Greater Manas Elephant Range established in the year 2002 at West Bengal. Area covered in this reserve is 978 square kilometers with an elephant population ranges between 300 and 350.

Garo Hills Elephant Reserve is in the state of Meghalaya, established in the year 2001. This reserve belongs to Meghalaya Range with an area of 3,500 square kilometers and 1,047 elephants reside here.

Khasi Hills Elephant Reserve also belongs to Meghalaya Elephant Reserve of Meghalaya state. This covers an area of 1,331 square kilometers and is now providing shelter for 383 elephants.

Mysore Elephant Reserve belongs to Brahmagiri-Nilgiri-Eastern Ghats Range and is established in the year 2002 of Karnataka state. This covers land area of 6,724 square kilometers with huge elephant population of 4,452.

Wayanad Elephant Reserve falls under Brahmagiri-Nilgiri-Eastern Ghats Elephant Range that was established in the year 2002. This reserve is located in the state of Kerala, covering an area of 1,200 square kilometers and reside 636 elephants.

Nilgiri Elephant Reserve is under Brahmagiri-Nilgiri-Eastern Ghats Elephant Range, established in the year 2003 at Karnataka state. It covers an area of 4,663 square kilometers and provides habitat for elephant population of 2,862.

Rayala Elephant Reserve also falls under Brahmagiri-Nilgiri-Eastern Ghats Elephant Range, which was established in the year 2003 in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It covers an area of 766 square kilometers, and 12 elephants reside here.

Nilambur Elephant Reserve is of Brahmagiri-Nilgiri-Eastern Ghats Elephant Range established in the year 2002 in the state of Kerala. It covers an area of 1,419 square kilometers with an elephant population of 281.

Coimbatore Elephant Reserve belongs to Brahmagiri-Nilgiri-Eastern Ghats Elephant Range which was established in the year 2003 in the state of Tamil Nadu. 329 elephants were provided habitat within the area of 566 square kilometers.

Anamalai Elephant Reserve is under Anamalai-Nelliampathy-High Range, which belongs to Tamil Nadu state which was established in the year 2003 with area covering 1,457 square kilometers and 179 elephants reside here.

Anamudi Elephant Reserve is also belongs to Anamalai-Nelliampathy-High Range of Kerala State which was established in the year 2002. This reserve covers an area of 3,728 square kilometers and provide habitat for 1,547 elephant population.

Periyar Elephant Reserve of Periyar-Agasthyamalai Elephant Reserve is established in the year 2002 of Kerala state. This elephant reserve covers an area of 3,742 square kilometers with an elephant population of 1,100.

Srivilliputtur Elephant Reserve belongs to Periyar-Agasthyamalai Elephant Reserve covering an area of 1,249 square kilometers with 638 elephants. It is established in the year 2003 in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Shivalik Elephant Reserve is of North-Western Elephant Range which was established in the year 2003 of Uttarakhand state. This reserve covers an area of 5,405 square kilometers with 1,610 elephant population.

Uttar Pradesh Elephant Reserve belongs to North-Western Elephant Range. This reserve was established in the year 2009 in the state of Uttar Pradesh with an area of 744 square kilometers.

Elephant Reserves in India

All the figures mentioned above are according to 2005 census and thus sums up to 21000 elephant population approximately. There was census mentioned for few states in the year 2012 but all the states were not reported. It is expected a raise of elephant population of 30000 and above as per 2012 census collectively in all the states.

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