World Elephant Day is annually celebrated on 12 August to create awareness on elephant conservation and to share knowledge and positive solutions for the better protection and management of wild and captive elephants.
World Elephant Day plays a crucial role in raising awareness about the problems faced by these gentle giants all around the globe.
i.It also highlights the need for the protection of elephants and laws and measures to be enacted to ensure their survival.
- The year 2022 marks the 11th anniversary of World Elephant Day.
i.World Elephant Day was started as an initiative by two Canadian filmmakers, Patricia Sims and Michael Clark of Canazwest pictures, and the Secretary General of Thailand’s Elephant Reintroduction Foundation – Sivaporn Dardarananda.
- The first World Elephant Day was observed on August 12, 2012.
Species of Elephants:
i.African elephants are listed as ‘vulnerable’ and Asian elephants as ‘endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species.
ii.Elephants are the world’s largest land animals. An adult elephant can reach 3 m tall and weigh up to 7,500 kg.
- They communicate through vibrations and their tucks are actually teeth.
iii.Asian elephants live in 13 countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
iv.African savanna elephants are found in 23 countries and live in a variety of habitats.
The largest populations are in Southern and Eastern African countries, including Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia, Zambia, and South Africa.
Major Threats faced by the Elephants:
- Escalation of poaching.
- Habitat loss.
- Human-elephant conflict.
- Mistreatment in captivity.
- Abuse due to elephant tourism.
- Rampant mining, Corridor destruction.
Efforts by the Govt.:
It is a nationwide awareness campaign to celebrate elephants and highlights the necessity of securing elephant corridors.
ii.Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) programme-
It was launched in 2003, is an international collaboration that tracks trends in information related to the illegal killing of elephants from across Africa and Asia, to monitor the effectiveness of field conservation efforts.
- It was launched in 1992 for the protection of elephants, their habitats and corridors.
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) provides financial and technical support to major elephant range states in the country through the project.
- These are the narrow strips of land that connect two large habitats of elephants.
- Elephant corridors are crucial to reduce animal fatalities due to accidents and other reasons.