Estimation of elephant population to follow established protocols, IISc scientists to analyze data

The methodology for the three-day elephant population count follows the protocol prepared by Project Elephant Cell under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and experts from the Wildlife Institute of India.

On the first day of the exercise, a block sampling or direct counting exercise will take place and a team of two to three people will systematically survey each of the selected blocks and walk a minimum of 15 km to cover a block of five square kilometers and register all data. observations of elephants on the provided data sheet for the number of blocks.

On May 24, authorities will start line transects and the length of each line transect will be 2 km. Staff walk the transect line and record data about the elephant dung piles on either side of the line.

The Forest Department has said that counting blocks and practicing line transects will help estimate the abundance of elephants in these habitats. In addition to forest cover, land use data and field data obtained, the current use/distribution area of ​​elephants, average elephant density and number of elephants are also calculated.

The direct count of the waterholes will take place on May 25, complete with photographic evidence. The water holes/salt licks/open areas, which are used to maximum extent by elephants, have been identified and fixed elephant observation point will be conducted at these selected locations from 6 am to 6 pm, the authorities said.

The size of the herd, the age and sex of the individuals are recorded, together with photographs of the individuals or groups. This data is used to assess the age and sex distribution (demography) of elephant populations.

The data generated will be collected and scientists from IISc, Bengaluru will analyze it using statistical methods. After the analysis, a population estimate will be obtained for all four states for the areas falling on the border of each of the states, authorities said.

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