GUWAHATI, March 30 � Marking a rising trend, the latest elephant census has yielded a presence of 5,620 wild elephants in Assam.
The 25 protected areas (PAs), i.e., 20 wildlife sanctuaries and five national parks, recorded 3,054 elephants while the managed forests (reserve forests, proposed reserved forests, district council reserve forests and un-classed forests) were found to shelter 2,516 elephants. Fifty elephants were also recorded in revenue areas as well.
The census report which was formally released by Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain at a press conference on Thursday noted the presence of 4,267 elephants in the five elephant reserves (ERs including a number of RFs, PRFs and PAs), with Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong ER sheltering the highest number at 1,675, followed by Ripu-Chirang ER with 1,549 and Sonitpur ER with 406. Dehing-Patkai ER and Dhansiri Lungding ER accounted for 406 and 201 elephants respectively.
Among the sanctuaries and national parks, Kaziranga NP had the highest elephant population with 1,165, followed by Manas NP with 945.
Manas, however, had the highest density of elephants among the national parks with 189 per 100 sq km. Kaziranga�s density was the second highest at 135.63 per 100 sq km. Orang NP with a density of 5.08 per sq km was the lowest among the PAs.
Nameri NP and Dibru-Saikhowa had populations of 233 and 115 respectively.
Significantly, the Barnadi sanctuary recorded the highest density among all PAs with 389.02 per 100 sq km, followed by Gibbon sanctuary with 166.83.
The age structure-wise composition of the elephant population showed 51 per cent adult, 20 per cent sub-adult, 12 per cent juvenile, and 17 per cent calf � said to be normal for a healthy viable population. The male-female ratio and its percentage were found to be 1:1.2 and 45 per cent: 55 per cent respectively.