Joint Count of Elephant and Big Cats

What is the News?

The government of India, for the first time this year, will present a unified count of the tiger, leopard and elephant populations of the country.

How is the tiger and elephant survey held currently?

Currently, Elephant and Tiger Surveys are held separately.

The tiger survey is usually held once in four years and elephants are counted once in five years. 

According to the most recent 2018-19 survey, there were 2,967 tigers in India.

According to the last count in 2017, there were 29,964 elephants in India.

What will be changed now?

For the first time, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is converging elephant and tiger population estimation. The results for the census are expected to come in by July next year.

In this census, tigers would be counted by deploying camera traps, identifying individuals based on stripes as well as statistical analysis.

Elephant numbers would be estimated by States based on DNA analysis of their dung droppings and statistical techniques. 

Note: In the past, the methods for elephant census were not scientific. It was based on a headcount method which was “obsolete” and frequently led to animals being double-counted.

Source: The post is based on the article “Joint Count of Elephant and Big Catspublished in The Hindu on 8th June 2022.

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