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Uploaded on Monday 11 Mar 2013 by GRID-Arendal

Asian elephant population estimates

Year: 2013 Author: Riccardo Pravettoni, GRID-Arendal
Asian elephants occur in isolated populations in 13 range States, with an approximate total range area of almost 880,000 square kilometres equivalent to only one-tenth of the historical range as defined by the IUCN. Today Asian elephants occur in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Feral populations occur on some of the Andaman Islands in India. Recent reports from across the 13 Asian elephant range States suggest that there are between 39,500 and 43,500 wild Asian elephants. In addition, there are approximately 13,000 domesticated (working or former working) elephants in Asia. However, some experts argue that many population figures are little more than guesses and that,with very few exceptions, all we really know about the status of the Asian elephants is the location of some populations. The uncertainty around population numbers is due in part to the difficulties presented by counting elephants in dense vegetation, in difficult terrain and the use of different and sometimes inappropriate survey techniques. Nevertheless, whatever the error margins, it is quite certain that over 50 per cent of the remaining wild Asian elephants occur in India.
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