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Three-day synchronised elephant census of South Indian states from May 23

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Chennai, May 15 (IANS) The three-day annual synchronised elephant census in four south Indian states will now commence from May 23, it was announced on Wednesday. The elephant census for 2024 was to commence on May 17 for three days but was put off after Kerala expressed some difficulties and requested a week’s extension.Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh Forest Departments will participate in the synchronised elephant census from May 23.In Tamil Nadu, the elephant study will be conducted in Coimbatore, Erode, Nilgiris, Dharmapuri, Hosur, Vellore, Tiruvanamalai, Megamalai, Srivilliputhur, Tirunelveli, and Kanniyakumari.Tamil Nadu Forest Department officials told IANS that the number of forest staff and volunteers for the exercise would be decided in the coming days.According to a senior official, a team of four to five members would be deputed to cover a region of around 15 km and they would walk through it from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and assess the age and sex of the elephants directly.The team would also find out whether any elephant has any external injuries, their tusk size, and the number of “Makhna” (tuskless male elephants) present.They will also assess the elephant dung to differentiate between the elephants. The team will also study the elephant’s behaviour and movements of these elephants.In the 2023 census in Tamil Nadu forests, 2,961 elephants were identified, or 200 more than the earlier exercise which recorded 2,761 elephants. The 2023 elephant census was held from May 17 to May 19.The four states would be releasing the list of elephants in each state together.Tamil Nadu Forest Department officials told IANS that the state’s Conservator of Forests, D. Venkatesh, who is also the Director of the Madumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR), will be the nodal officer for the census for the Tamil Nadu region.–IANSaal/vd

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