Elephants in UP to get a new home; state govt. to establish new Terai Elephant Reserve
Adding to the glory of the state's biodiversity, the UP government will now work on establishing the state's second elephant reserve. Reportedly, the new wilderness zone will be termed as the Terai Elephant Reserve (TER) which will be spread over an area of 3,072 square kilometres and will occupy lands in four different districts.
Furthermore, TER will be four times bigger than the UP's first elephant reserve- Shivalik Elephant Reserve (744 sq. km.) which is spread over Bijnor and Saharanpur.
State govt. has received a nod for the establishment of TER
The TER project received approval from the Union Environment Ministry in May. With this, the establishment of a dedicated forest reserve for elephants in the region has become very necessary due to several factors.
The Terai Elephant Reserve will help conserve the trans-boundary migration of elephant populations in the Indo-Nepal border area of Uttar Pradesh.
TER will share forest area with Dudhwa and Piliphit tiger reserves
Furthermore, TER will be situated in the joint forest regions of Dudhwa and Piliphit tiger reserves that are involved in the conservation of tiger, Asian elephant, swamp deer and one-horned rhinoceros. Due to this, TER will also help in the management of grassland and elephant corridor in Dudhwa and Piliphit tiger reserves.
As per the 2020 census, there were about 149 elephants in Dudhwa which has risen to about 175. This has also led to increased elephant-human conflicts and the establishment of an elephant reserve will help in resolving these conflicts.
What is Project Elephant?
The Project Elephant is centrally sponsored scheme which was launched back in 1992. The scheme aims to ensure long-term survival of Asian elephants in their natural habitats by protecting them, their habitats and migration corridors.
Moreover, two other elephant reserves apart from TER i.e. Lemru in Chhattisgarh and Agasthymalai in Tamil Nadu have also received approval from the Union Environment Ministry this year under this scheme.