Sharp decline in population of wild elephants, tigers in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram: The count of elephants and tigers in Kerala's forests have decreased significantly, the latest enumeration by the forest department has revealed.

While the number of wild elephants in the state dipped to 1,920 from 3,322 in 2017, the tiger population in the Wayanad landscape came down to 84 from 120 in 2018, the forest department report said.

The tiger survey was carried out from April 10 to May 25. while the count of wild elephants was done from May 17 to 19.

Head of forest department Bennichan Thomas and Chief Wildlife Warden Ganga Singh handed over the reports to state forest minister A K Saseendran.

The wild elephant population was determined through the block count method and also based on dung spotting. As per the block count, there are 1,920 elephants in the forests of Kerala, while their density has fallen to 0.20 per sq km.

However, the counting done based on the spotting of elephant dung puts their population at 2,386 and the animal density at 0.25 per sq km.

The block counting results are more accurate since they follow a scientific process, said Thomas.

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