Asian Elephants – UPSC Prelims

  • Elephants are keystone species.
  • There are three subspecies of Asian elephant :
    • Indian,
    • Sumatran
    • Sri Lankan
  • The Indian elephant has the widest range and accounts for the majority of the remaining elephants on the continent.
  • Conservation Status of Indian Elephants:
    • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I
    • IUCN Red List: Endangered
    • CITES: Appendix I
  • India is home to 50% of the Asian Elephant population, and according to the 2017 elephant census, there are 27,312 elephants in the country, marking a decrease of nearly 3,000 elephants from the 2012 census.
India’s Initiatives for Conservation of Elephants:
  • Gaj Yatra: A nationwide campaign to protect elephants, was launched on the occasion of World Elephant Day in 2017.
  • Project Elephant: It is a centrally sponsored scheme which was launched in 1992.

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