Elephants population increases in latest census

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New Delhi, Mar 22 (UNI) Even as the number of tigers has dwindled in recent decades, the population of elephants has recorded an increase.

The number of the pachyderms in the 2007 Census was shown to be 18664 as compared to 17422 in the 2002 Census.

While Kerala has recorded the highest increase in the elephant numbers from 3850 in 2002 to 6068 in 2007, states like Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Karnataka have sufferred a decrease in the population of the animal as compared to 2002, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has said in an answer to a Parliamentary question.

The Ministry also said that Orissa topped the list of states where highest number of elephants had been killed for ivory in recent years.

In 2006-07, 11 pachyderms were done to death in Orissa by those involved in the illegal trade . In the preceeding year, the number of killings was seven, while in 2004-05 four elephants were killed.

After Orissa, highest number of elephant deaths had been reported from Karnataka where four elephants were killed in 2006-07.

The Centre is continuing with the Project Elephant in the 11th Plan for protection of the animal. Financial and technical assistance to elephant range states was being provided under the scheme, it said.

UNI NAZ YA BST1117

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