Published on: August 13, 2021



What is in news : From December, India will move to a system that will count tigers and elephants as part of a common survey.

Details :

  • The tiger survey is usually held once in four years and elephants are counted once in five years
  • According to the most recent 2018-19 survey, there were 2,997 tigers in India. According to the last count in 2017, there were 29,964 elephants in India
  • 90% of the area occupied by elephants and tigers is common, and once estimation methods are standardised, having a common survey can significantly save costs
  • Asian elephants are listed as “endangered” on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. More than 60% of the world’s elephant population is in India



  • Elephant census, is conducted once in 5 years under the aegis of Project elephant.
  • A scientist associated with the census are of the view that discrepancy had resulted from Kerala’s insistence in 2017 on using a technique called the ‘direct count’ method.
  • Elephant Counting Methods Employed in Census
  • The direct counting method is based on sightings of elephants.
  • The indirect counting method uses the elephant elephant ‘dung decay’ formula, in which the analysis of dung is used to estimate the population of the elephant.

Project Elephant

  • Project Elephant (PE), is a centrally sponsored scheme, and was launched in February 1992 for the protection of elephants, their habitats and corridors.
  • It also seeks to address the issues of human-wildlife conflict and welfare of domesticated elephants.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change provides the financial and technical support to major elephant range states in the country through Project Elephant.


  • Since 2006, the government of India has been conducting the census every four years led by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) with cooperation from various state forest departments and conservation NGOs.
  • The exercise aims at arriving at a nationwide assessment into the country’s population and habitat of tigers (Panthera tigris Tigris).
  • The data was collected using an Android-based application- M-STrIPES ( Monitoring system for Tigers’ Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) which is developed by Wildlife Institute of India.

About Project Tiger Initiative:

  • Project Tiger initiative was launched in 1973.
  • The project is administrated by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
  • The aim of the project is to ensure that the population of Bengal tigers is well-maintained in their natural habitats, damages done to these habitats should be repaired so that the ecosystem is balanced and maintains a viable tiger population.
  • Under the project, the government has also set up a tiger protecting force that ensures there is no poaching of any kind or any human-tiger conflict.