Census on wild elephants
An islandwide census on wild elephants will be carried out by the
Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC), which estimates between
5,000 -6,000 wild elephants in Sri Lanka.
DWLC Director General, Dr. Chandrawansa Pathiraja said that this
would be the first census on wild elephants in the country. It will be
carried out in August this year.
The first census on wild elephants in the country except the North
and the East, was conducted in 1993. It recorded 1,967 wild elephants.
According to the census in 2004 there were only 1,296 wild elephants
in the North Western region.
The DWLC carried out a census in the Mahaweli area covering
Trincomalee, Pollonnaruwa and parts of Ampara and Batticaloa areas in
2008. According to the census, there were 2,149 wild elephants in the
Dr. Pathiraja said that the DWLC would develop management strategies
for the census and would carry out the count near water bodies - water
tanks and lakes- which the wild elephants frequent during the drought
The Indian Institute of Wildlife and the Peradeniya University will
assist the DWLC to carry out the census. The census also includes the
wild elephants in 21 wildlife parks, sanctuaries and protected areas.
Students of the Peradeniya University will carry out the census under
the supervision of wildlife officials.