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14 Jul 2018

Jumbo count up in Bengal

ANIRBAN CHOUDHURY, TT, Jul 14, 2018, Alipurduar: An interim report published by Project Elephant that functions under the Union ministry of environment and forests has shown a rise in the animal's population in Bengal.

The report, published on the basis of an elephant census that was conducted across the country, shows that the number of wild elephants in Bengal has gone up from 645 in 2012 to 780 in 2017.

The estimate was conducted last year after a gap of five years. In north Bengal, the number of elephants are 590, while it is 190 in the south of the state.

Ravikant Sinha, the chief wildlife warden of the state, said over the phone from Calcutta on Friday: "We have received an interim report where the figures have been put based on direct sighting. But we are yet to receive the population report calculated by dung density method. The interim report shows a rise in elephant population in south Bengal."

In dung density method, scientists estimate the elephant population by considering the density of dung piles in elephant habitats.

In March and May last year, the census was conducted across India by the Asian Nature Conservation Foundation that is based in Karnakata, along with forest departments of 23 states, NGOs and prominent wildlife conservationists.

This was the first ever synchronised estimate of the all India elephant population.

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