Environment & Biodiversity

Operation Jumbo: Capture Wild Elephants

  • The Forest Department has resumed Operation Jumbo in Karnataka’s Hassan district to catch troublesome wild elephants and fix radio collars.

What is Operation Jumbo?

  • The Karnataka government initiated Operation Jumbo to capture and radio-collar renegade wild elephants that frequently enter human habitations.
  • It is applicable in five districts across the state: Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu, Ramanagara, and Bengaluru.
  • The goal of this programme is to regulate elephant mobility and disputes through continuous tracking with GPS-equipped radio collars that have a three-year battery life.

Implementation of Operation Jumbo

  • The expense of capturing and radio-collaring each wild elephant is around Rs 22 lakh, with each radio collar costing Rs 7 lakh imported from South Africa.
  • The operation requires a diverse team of 70-80 people, including forest rangers, veterinarians, mahouts, and other support personnel.
  • It entails tasks like monitoring, tracking, throwing wild creatures off the backs of trained elephants, and securing the rescued tusker.

Elephants in India

Population EstimateAccording to the 2017 census, India has the greatest population of wild Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), accounting for around 60% of the global total. 
Leading StatesKarnataka holds the highest number of elephants, followed by Assam and Kerala.
Conservation StatusIUCN Red List:  Endangered.CMS: Appendix I.Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Listed under Schedule I,CITES: Appendix I.
Conservation InitiativesProject Elephant was begun in 1992 and covers 23 states in India.Contributed to the wild elephant population growing from roughly 25,000 in 1992 to approximately 30,000 in 2021.Establishment of elephant reserves. Total of 33, encompassing approximately 80,777 square km. 

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