Elephant census on Sept. 13 and 14


The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) will carry out a two-day survey on wild elephants between September 13 and 14, the Department says.

The DWC expected to record the number of elephants and to categorize the population according to their gender, age and the number of tuskers, Wildlife Director General C. Sooriyabandara said in a media statement.

The last such survey was carried out in 2011 and the population of wild elephants then had been recorded at 5879. They included 122 tuskers and 1,107 calves. Sooriyabandara said that the 2011 survey had been restricted to habitats around water reservoirs during the dry season.

The DWC expects to deploy over 7,000 wildlife officers to cover over 2,000 habitats. Unlike in 2011, this year’s survey will also be conducted in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. "University students, non-governmental organizations, and the general public who wish to be a part of this survey can contact the Wildlife Department on 011 - 2888 585."

The 2011 survey was fraught with controversy as environmental organizations which were to provide 500 researchers refrained from taking part in the census after former Agrarian Services and Wildlife Minister S.M. Chandrasena stated that the chief objective of the elephant census was to identify, capture and domesticate 300 young elephants and tuskers suitable to carry caskets in Peraheras.

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