Nilgiri Reserve and Asian Elephants

Nilgiri Reserve and Asian Elephants

Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and Asian Elephants

#GS-03 Conservation of Biodiversity 

For Prelims

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.

Asian Elephant:

  • 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:

Project Elephant:
  • 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.
Gaj Yatra:
  • 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.

Source “‘Asian elephant has lost most of its optimal habitat in Nilgiri Reserve’