In Commemoration Of World Elephant Day, Bhutan Records 678 Elephants, Up From 513 In 2011


There are 678 elephants in Bhutan, according to the second edition of the National Elephant Survey Report.

Bhutanese mural of the four harmonious friends. (Source: Flikr/Lindadevolder)


By Karma Wangdi | BBS


About World Elephant Day

The World Elephant Day is commemorated on August 12 every year. The day draws attention to the numerous threats that elephants face and calls for better conservation and protection of the magnificent creature.

It was first observed in 2012 to highlight the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. Poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are some of the threats faced by both African and Asian elephants.

Aims of elephant conservation organisations

Working towards better protection for wild elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent illegal poaching and the trade of ivory are some of the priorities of the elephant conservation organisations.

In addition, conserving elephant habitats, providing better treatment for captive elephants and, when appropriate, releasing captive elephants into their natural, protected sanctuaries are the goals that numerous elephant conservation organisations focus on around the world.


Source: Redbubble


There are 678 elephants in Bhutan, according to the second edition of the National Elephant Survey Report. This is an increase of 165 elephants recorded by a survey conducted in 2011. The report was launched on 12 Aug, coinciding with World Elephant Day in Sarpang.

Where are elephants found in Bhutan?

The elephants are found in the southern regions of Bhutan: Samtse, Chhukha, Dagana, the Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary in Sarpang, the Royal Manas National Park and the Jomotshangkha Wildlife Sanctuary.

“While we celebrate the increase in the number of elephants and their intact habitat, we should not forget that our farmers in the southern regions are bearing the brunt of the growing incidences of human-elephant conflict,” Singey Wangmo, the Park Manager of Royal Manas National Park Office in Gelephu said.

“The sectors heads, villagers, the department of forest and wildlife rescue and rehab centre should not only come together to resolve the Human-wildlife conflict but also work towards a sustainable solution to address the issue.”

How the National Elephant Survey Report can be useful according to WWF Bhutan

The country representative of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) of Bhutan, Dechen Dorji said the report would be helpful in understanding the home range of elephants, their migration pattern and habitat utilisation to provide innovative solutions for human-elephant co-existence.


Source: Bhutan For Life


“The WWF has adopted a SAFE system to manage human-wildlife conflict and we already have a strategy to address the issue. We will be working closely with all the stakeholders to resolve this conflict.”

The Chief Forestry Officer of the Nature Conservation Division of the Department of Forest and Park Services, Sonam Wangdi revealed that the elephant conservation efforts in Bhutan need to focus more on maintaining continuous forest cover and striking a balance between conservation and development.


This article first appeared in BBS and has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.


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