Elephant survey to begin next month | Sunday Observer

Elephant survey to begin next month

The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) will conduct an island-wide survey of wild elephants nearly seven years after a similar survey was last conducted. Speaking to the Sunday Observer, Director General of the DWC Chandana Sooriyabandara said the last survey was conducted in 2011.

While the latest survey will commence next month according to Sooriyabandara information regarding the distribution of wild elephants, population structure and genetic composition will be gathered during the process.

However, the study will not be able to determine the current number of wild elephants in Sri Lanka he said. “We will only be able to estimate the minimum number of elephants present within the country through this survey,” Sooriyabandara said.

According to him, the study will help the Department in its future management decisions in areas such as habitat enrichment. “The DWC will also be able to determine the current population structure and how long it will survive,” he said adding that it will assist in protecting the country’s wild elephant population.

The Department is required to conduct a survey on the country’s elephant population once between every five to 10 years. DWC has called for volunteers to assist in the survey, Department sources said.