Colombo, Feb 14, (PTI):
Sri Lanka has decided to conduct its first ever national census of elephants to assist in programmes launched to protect and conserve the jumbo population in the country, a top official said today.
The Wildlife Conservation Department will hold meetings later this month on the logistics of a jumbo census covering all parts of the country, director Chandrawansa Pathiraja said. He said the decades-long war between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels meant that there were no accurate figures for the elephant population in the wild.
“We don’t have reliable figures for the total elephant population because no proper census covering the entire country has been taken so far,” he said. He said the country expects foreign assistance for the census, but gave no details.
Sri Lanka’s elephant population is said to be dwindling with official estimates placing the jumbo population at about 4,000 compared to 12,000 in 1900.