Elephant Census

Elephant Census 2010 was taken up in the entire Eastern Duars Elephant Reserve and Assam from 24th to 26th November 2010. Based on the year round observations the entire BTR area was divided into blocks of 5km2 for enumerartion. Stratification of the entire BTR habitat was then done  into different elephant densities to   increase the precision. On the basis of observation over a period of time the area was stratified  into high0.(> 1 elephant/km2), medium( 0.5 to 1 elephnat /km2) amd low density( below 0.5 elephant /km2).

For the census, Buxa Tiger Reserve was divided into 147 census units (70 in BTR(W) and 77 in BTR(E) division), each spanning an area of approximately 5 Sq Kms (500ha). Out of these census units, using random numbers, 70% of the census units were randomly selected for the actual census using random number table. Thus, census was conducted in 100 census units (50 each in East and West divisions) which corresponded to 48064.92 ha (480.65Sq Km) area. Based on the area the total working area selected corresponds to 69.26% of the total elephant reserve area. A total of 100 teams each consisting of 4 or 5 members were formed for conducting the census. Each team was led by a Beat Officer or a Forest Guard.

Intensive block count method is the most precise method of enumerating the total elephant population. For intensive block count method total area was stratified into High, medium and low density areas. Out of these total stratified areas 70 % area was randomly selected for intensive block count. Out of the 100 census units enumerated, elephants were sighted in at least 33 units.  A Total of 215 elephants were counted in which 97 belonged to  BTR (E) and 118 to BTR (W) division). Maximum elephants were found in Jainti range (56), followed by 35 in West Damanpur range, 30 each in South Rydak and Hamiltonganj ranges. In all there were 37 tuskers. The number of males and females was 63 and 70 respectively (ratio of 1:1.1). The sex of 29 elephants could not be determined. Based on observations on age class distribution, totally there were 123 adults (57%), 39 sub adults (18%), 22 sub adults (10%) and 31 calves (14%). The division wise distribution of elephants and its summary is presented below.

BTR

Male Female Unknown sex Total
BTR(E)

25

32

40

97

BTR(W)

38

38

42

118

Total

63

70

82

215