Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and Asian Elephants
#GS-03 Conservation of Biodiversity
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
- Nilgiri is the first biosphere reserve in India and was established in the year 1986.
- It is located in the Western Ghats and covers areas of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
- The region is renowned for its rich biodiversity.
- It is home for about 3500 species of flowering plants, out of which 1500 are endemic to the Western Ghats.
- The fauna consists of over 100 species of mammals, 550 species of birds, 30 species of reptiles and amphibians, 300 species of butterflies and a large number of invertebrates.
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
- Major Threats: Habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.
- IUCN Red List of threatened species:
- African elephants : Vulnerable
- Asian elephants : Endangered.
Initiatives for Protection of Elephants:
- It was launched by the Government of India in 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the protection of elephants, their habitats and corridors.
Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG):
- AsESG is an integral part of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the IUCN.
- Its aim is to promote the long-term conservation of Asia’s elephants and wherever possible, the recovery of their populations to viable levels.
- It is a nationwide awareness campaign led by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to celebrate elephants and highlight the necessity of securing elephant corridors.
Monitoring the Killing of Elephants (MIKE):
- The Monitoring the Killing of Elephants (MIKE) programme was launched in 2003.
- It is an international collaboration that tracks trends in information related to the illegal killing of elephants from across Africa and Asia, in order to monitor effectiveness of field conservation efforts.