Conservation of Elephant Population in Anamalais

The Anamalai hill ranges (~5700 km2) located in the Western Ghats to the south of the Palghat gap in southern India is one of the potential areas for the long-term conservation of the Asian elephant. This population is genetically more diverse and distinct from the much larger elephant population further north in the Ghats. The landscape is also known for its rich biodiversity .However extensive developmental activities have resulted in an increase in fragmentation of natural habitats and elephant- human conflicts. Despite the high conservation potential and the threats facing the elephant in this landscape, information on the status of elephant population and the habitats that are essential for their long-term conservation was scanty. ANCF,with financial support from U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, conducted a study to evaluate elephant habitats including corridors, land use and vegetation patterns, the status of elephant populations and elephant-human conflict in the landscape. Recommendations were derived from the study for the management of this Elephant Range. Additionally, workshops were conducted on elephant census techniques in order to build capacity among officers and field level staff of the Forest Department.