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‘Elephant to be declared national heritage animal’
NEW DELHI, AUG 31 (IANS):
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Published on 1 Sep. 2010 12:48 AM IST
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Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh Tuesday said the elephant would soon be declared a national heritage animal in order to step up measures for its protection.
“We will soon declare elephant as a national heritage animal as they have been part of our heritage since ages. We need to give same degree of importance to elephant as is given to tiger in order to protect the big animal,” said Ramesh.
The Elephant Task Force Tuesday submitted its report to the ministry. It lays out a comprehensive action agenda for protecting elephants in the wild and in captivity, and for addressing human-elephant conflict.
The report by the 12-member committee also called for setting up of a statutory agency National Elephant Conservation Authority (NECA) on the lines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), with a substantial enhancement in the budgetary outlay.
“We need to amend the Wildlife Protection Act in order to set up NECA. We will introduce it (amendment) in the winter session of parliament,” he said.
There are about 25,000 elephants in the country with 3,500 in captivity. India is home to 60 percent of elephants in Asia.
India started Project Elephant in 1992 to provide financial and technical support to the elephant range states in India for the protection of jumbos, their habitat and corridors and address issues of human-animal conflict.

 
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