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Odisha Elephant Census Reveals Stable Population with Positive Trends

Bhubaneswar: The latest Odisha Elephant Census has revealed the presence of 2,098 elephants across 38 Forest Divisions in the state, marking an increase of 122 elephants since the last census in 2017. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Wildlife Susant Nanda shared these findings on Wednesday, noting a nearly stable population with a male-to-female ratio of 1:2.17.

The 2024 census highlighted a notable 40% increase in the population of adult tuskers over the past seven years, contributing to a healthier gender ratio among adult elephants and a significant number of young elephants. The 2017 census recorded 1,976 elephants, indicating a gradual increase in the population.

The detailed count includes 313 adult tuskers, 13 adult makhnas (tuskless males), 748 adult females, 148 sub-adult males, 282 sub-adult females, 209 juveniles, and 385 calves. However, it is noteworthy that 13 Forest Divisions reported no elephants.

While some forest divisions have seen an increase in elephant numbers, others experienced a decrease, likely due to changes in elephant movement patterns and land use.

The census aimed to establish population trends and gain insights into the structure and composition of Odisha’s elephant population. Over 5,700 individuals, including wildlife enthusiasts, voluntary agencies, researchers, and field staff, participated in the census, conducted from May 22 to May 24, 2024.

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