[Answered] Explain the objectives and achievements of Project Elephant. How has it contributed to the conservation of elephants and their habitats?

Introduction: Describe Project Elephant.

Body: Explain the objectives and achievements of Project Elephant & measures taken to conserve elephants.

Conclusion: Way Forward.

Project Elephant is a government-led initiative in India aimed at the conservation, protection of elephants their habitats, corridors & ensuring the welfare of captive elephants. It was launched in 1992 by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India, in response to the growing concerns about the declining elephant population and the increasing conflict between elephants and human activities.

Objectives and achievements of Project Elephant are:

  • Elephant population: Due to increased conservation efforts India is home to around 60% of the global elephant population spreading across southern, north-eastern, east-central & northern regions of the country.
  • Protection of elephants: The primary goal of Project Elephant is to ensure the long-term survival of the Indian elephant population and its habitats. This involves implementing measures to counter various threats such as habitat loss, poaching, human-elephant conflicts, and other anthropogenic pressures.
  • Capacity Building: Training forest workers, residents, and other stakeholders on elephant conservation and management practice is a key component of Project Elephant’s capacity-building strategy.
  • Mitigating Human-Elephant Conflict: Project Elephant aims to address this conflict by implementing measures like the construction of barriers, early warning systems, and community-based interventions to reduce negative interactions between elephants and humans.

How has this helped in the conservation of elephants and their habitats?

  • The government has worked extensively to minimize the adverse impact of railway lines on elephant corridors. It is most important to minimize habitat fragmentation.
  • Various mitigation strategies like underpasses in Tamil Nadu and Kerela, elevated corridors in Assam, speed restrictions, level crossings & ramps to facilitate elephant movement have been used to protect elephant corridors.
  • Technological interventions like the Intrusion Detection System using fibre optic technology have been used in West Bengal & Uttarakhand to detect animals using seismic sensors and thermal infrared cameras.
  • Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of elephant reserves is being undertaken by governments and international bodies to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the protected areas. E.g., in Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Uttarakhand & Assam.
  • Project Elephant has helped in improving natural habitats by increasing water resources, planting fodder trees, bamboo registration, etc. Natural habitats are being notified as Elephant reserves have improved focus and synergy in the conservation of big species.
  • The genetic database recorded in the Gaj Soochna App has prevented the illegal transfer of elephants interstate as well as person to person.


The success of the project can be gauged from the fact that so far India has established 33 Elephant reserves in 14 states and has recognised the elephant as a National Heritage Animal which is protected under Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

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