Sri Lanka plans first census of elephants

Feb 16, 2011
A Sri Lankan child waits for customers for his sugar cane to feed elephants at the elephant sanctuary in Udawalawe in 2010. Sri Lanka is planning its first ever census of elephants as the animals increasingly come into conflict with villagers, a top official said Wednesday.

Sri Lanka is planning its first ever census of elephants as the animals increasingly come into conflict with villagers, a top official said Wednesday.

Government wildlife director Chandrawansa Pathiraja said a head count would start in August to aid better planning of conservation and minimise clashes between elephants and humans.

"We will carry out the within a 48-hour period," Pathiraja told AFP. "We expect dry weather at this time."

He said a meeting of enumerators would be held next month to work out details of the census, and the department also hopes to rope in volunteers to help.

"We have had just over 200 elephants deaths last year," Pathiraja said. "During the same period about 50 people were killed by wild elephants and we have seen this trend in the past three years."

Elephants are killed mostly by farmers whose are destroyed while marauding animals also raid villages in search of food.

Sri Lanka's is believed to have dwindled to about 4,000 from an estimated 12,000 in 1900.

Most of the jungles in Sri Lanka's northern and eastern regions were inaccessible for wildlife authorities during the fighting between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels.

However, with the ending of hostilities in May 2009, the wildlife department has begun managing some of the animal sanctuaries and re-launched conservation efforts.

are considered sacred animals in Sri Lanka, but they increasingly clash with villagers as habitat becomes scarce.

Explore further: From dandruff to deep sea vents, an ecologically hyper-diverse fungus

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study: Elephants might seek revenge

Feb 16, 2006

An increasing number of incidents involving African elephants attacking humans is leading some scientists to believe the animals may be seeking revenge.

Pygmy elephants tracked by GPS

Dec 17, 2005

A satellite used by the U.S. military to track vehicle convoys in Iraq is helping the World Wildlife Fund shed light on the pygmy elephants in Malaysia.

New home for Cambodian killer elephant

Dec 27, 2010

An enraged bull elephant that killed its owner and then went on a 10-day rampage in the Cambodian countryside has been taken in by a wildlife rescue centre.

5 rare Sumatran elephants found dead in Indonesia

Nov 28, 2010

(AP) -- Five endangered Sumatran elephants have been found dead in Indonesia, and conservationists said Sunday that they suspect farmers poisoned the animals to stop them from damaging crops.

Recommended for you

Of bees, mites, and viruses

12 hours ago

Honeybee colonies are dying at alarming rates worldwide. A variety of factors have been proposed to explain their decline, but the exact cause—and how bees can be saved—remains unclear. An article published on August ...

Genetically tracking farmed fish escaping into the wild

Aug 20, 2014

European sea product consumption is on the rise. With overfishing being a threat to the natural balance of the ocean, the alternative is to turn to aquaculture, the industrial production of fish and seafood. ...

France fights back Asian hornet invader

Aug 20, 2014

They slipped into southwest France 10 years ago in a pottery shipment from China and have since invaded more than half the country, which is fighting back with drones, poisoned rods and even chickens.

User comments : 0