The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has approved the establishment of Terai Elephant Reserve (TER) as part of ‘Project Elephant’ in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh (UP).
- The TER will cover an area of 3,049.39 square kilometres, encompassing the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) and Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) in UP.
- The TER would be the 2nd Elephant Reserve (ER) in UP and the 33rd overall in India.
The proposal for TER was drafted by Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) authorities.
Note: The first ER in UP was notified in Shivalik in Saharanpur and Bijnor districts, in 2009.
Terai Elephant Reserve (TER), UP
i.The TER would comprise forest areas of PTR and DTR, as well as the Dudhwa National Park (DNP) and two adjoining sanctuaries, Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS), Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary (KGWS), the Dudhwa buffer zone, and parts of the south Kheri forest division.
- The TER is situated on the Nepal-India border.
- Migrant elephants used to frequent these places from neighbouring areas, including Nepal, due to their enriched habitat conditions, and have now become residents of these areas.
ii.TER will monitor the conservation of four wild species across the entire area, including Tiger, Asian Elephant, Swamp Deer & One-Horned Rhinoceros.
- For decades, the DTR has drawn wild elephants through domestic and trans-border corridors such as Basanta-Dudhwa, Laljhadi (Nepal)-Sathiyana, and the Shuklafanta (Nepal)-Dhaka-Pilibhit-Dudhwa buffer zone corridor.
iii.In 2022, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Project Elephant, which began in 1992, the Government of India (GoI) approved 3 ERs in India, including TER.
- The other two ERs are Lemru ER in Chhattisgarh (31st ER) and Agasthyamalai ER (32nd ER) in Tamil Nadu.
Note: While Elephant Conservation emphasizes landscape-related ecology, tiger conservation is rooted in the concept of a protected area.
- The Indian Elephant (Elephas maximus) can be found in the Central & Southern Western Ghats, North-East India, Eastern India & Northern India and in some parts of Southern Peninsular India.
- It is included in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) and Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.
i.The GoI introduced Project Elephant in 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) with the following objectives:
- To protect elephants, their habitat & corridors
- To address issues of man-animal conflict
- Welfare of captive elephants
ii.The Project is primarily carried out in 16 States/Union Territories (UTs): Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal.
iii.Through Project Elephant, the MoEFCC provides financial and technical assistance to major elephant range states in India.
- Director of Project Elephant – Ramesh Pandey
Recent Related News:
In August 2022, The State Government of Tamil Nadu notified Agasthyamalai Elephant Reserve as its 5th Elephant Reserve with a total area of 1,19,748.26 hectares at Agasthyamalai in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari district on the occasion of World Elephant Day 2022 (12 August). This is India’s 32nd Elephant Reserve.
About Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC):
Union Minister – Bhupender Yadav (Rajya Sabha – Rajasthan)
Minister of State (MoS) – Ashwini Kumar Choubey