Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Elephant, the National Heritage Animal
India's has declared the elephant a National Heritage Animal. This is to increase the protective measures for the country's nearly 29,000 elephants. This was following a recommendation for the protective status issued on October 13 by the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife.
Announcing the Elephant Task Force report, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that elephants have been "part of our heritage since ages" and they should have the same degree of conservation importance given to them as is given to the national animal, the tiger.
The 12-member task force, recommended establishing a National Elephant Conservation Authority parallel to the National Tiger Conservation Authority with a substantial increase in funding.
Sixty percent of elephants in Asia live in India, where 18 states host elephant populations making up an estimated national total of 26,000 in the wild plus about 3,500 in captivity.
There are the problems of human-elephant conflict, the diversion of land for mining, the destruction of habitat, the loss of forest cover and train hit.
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