Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary
- 10 Apr 2020
- 3 min read
- Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary is the only sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh with a population of Asian elephants.
- The sanctuary is covered by southern tropical dry deciduous and thorn forests. Some of the important flora consists of Albizia amara, Acacia, Lagerstroemia, Ficus, bamboo, and a species which is a regeneration of Santalum album.
- Apart from Elephant, some of the animals found in the sanctuary are: sloth bear, panther, cheetal, chowsingha, sambar, porcupine, wild boar, jungle cat, jackal, jungle fowl, starred tortoise and slender loris.
- There are three subspecies of Asian elephant – the Indian, Sumatran and Sri Lankan.
- The Indian has the widest range and accounts for the majority of the remaining elephants on the continent.
- Escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are some common threats to both African and Asian elephants.
- African elephants are listed as “vulnerable” and Asian elephants as “endangered” in IUCN Red List of threatened species.
- The elephant has been accorded the highest possible protection under the Indian wildlife law through its listing under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) status- Appendix I.
- Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered among CITES-listed animals and plants.
- The Government of India has launched various initiatives for conservation of elephants. Few important initiatives are:
- Project Elephant launched by the Government of India in the year 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. Elephant census is conducted once in 5 years under the aegis of Project elephant.
- Establishment of elephant reserves and adoption of the “World Elephant Day” (August 12) to help conserve and protect elephants in India and improve their welfare.
- ‘Gaj Yatra’ a nationwide awareness campaign to celebrate elephants and highlight the necessity of securing elephant corridors.
- The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), had come out with a publication on the right of passage in 101 elephant corridors of the country in 2017, stressed on the need for greater surveillance and protection of elephant corridors.
- The Monitoring the Killing of Elephants (MIKE) programme 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 effectiveness of field conservation efforts.