Chennai: At a time when frequent deaths of elephants in the forests of Tamilnadu sparked off protests from activists and animal lovers, the State Forest Department has formed an 11-member expert committee to conduct scientific study on the elephant population in Tamilnadu.
The committee is expected to submit the report to the Chief Wildlife Warden by 12 December, 2020. It will study if the measures taken, such as elephant-proof tranches, solar fencing, wall construction, were good enough in controlling elephant migration.
According to an official circular, “the committee will look into various aspects of elephant habitat restoration and amelioration measures. It is also requested to come out with suitable comprehensive proposal with an estimation of cost.”
The committee formed by Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden S Yuvaraj has Shekar Kumar Niraj, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), as chairperson and S. Anand, District Forests Officer, Madurai, as member secretary.
Elephant experts Aiay Desai from Bengaluru, Sivaganesan from Chennai, C Arivazhagan, managing trustee of the Indo American Wildlife Society in Chennai, veterinarians M Kalaivanan, from Theni and A Predeep from Chennai and D Boominathan of World Wide Fund (WWF), Coimbatore, Nitin Sekar, coordinator of WWF in Coimbatore, veterinarian Sree Kumar from Tamilnadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and a representative of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Southern region, Chennai, are other members of the committee.
The committee has been tasked to study elephant population and their movement in Tamilnadu from 1 January, 2006 to 30 June, 2020.