New Campaign In India Aims To Protect 30,0000 Wild Elephants

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To commemorate World Elephant Day last Saturday, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) took a huge step in protecting the country’s remaining and future wild elephant populations.

It is estimated that some 30,000 wild Asian elephants, more than half of the species’ global population, currently call India home.

In collaboration with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), WTI launched Gaj Yatra, a campaign designed to raise awareness about the shrinking space for India’s wild elephants and the importance of securing elephant corridors.

According to outlookindia.com, the mega-event is scheduled to travel through 12 elephant range states over the next 15 months and will feature elephant-sized artworks created by local artists as the main attraction.

Gaj Mahotsavs will be organized at various venues along the way, also boasting concerts, parades, street plays and a host of kid-friendly activities.

The ambitious campaign which kicked off at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library was hosted by Teen Murti Bhavan.

During the flagship event, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, released the ‘All India Elephant Census, 2017 Report’ along with the ‘Right of Passage’, which is a publication on India’s 101 identified and mapped elephant corridors.

Its predecessor, the 2005 edition of “Right to Passage” had declared a total of 88 elephant corridors.

As noted in the article, with Asian elephants now occupying a mere 3.5 percent of their historical range, securing these corridors which allow wildlife to move through urbanized areas that lie between larger protected forests, without being disturbed by humans, has become a “conservation imperative.”

Vivek Menon, WTI Executive Director and CEO, and Dia Mirza, actress, filmmaker, humanitarian and WTI Brand Ambassador, were among those on hand for the festivities.

windowtonews.com

For more than one decade, WTI has been working with the Government of India‘s Project Elephant, state forest departments, and national and global organizations to secure and protect elephant corridors.

Gaj Yatra was created to generate a renewed urgency to these efforts.

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