Wildlife Protection Current Affairs

Government launches nationwide campaign Gaj Yatra to protect elephants

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has launched a nationwide campaign Gaj Yatra to protect elephants. It was launched on the occasion of World Elephant Day observed on August 12.

The ministry also released the All India Census 2017 Report on elephants and Agreed Points of Action on Trans-Boundary Conservation of Elephants by India and Bangladesh.

Gaj Yatra Campaign

The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range states across the country. It is 15 months campaign the will be led by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). The ‘Gaju’ mascot, which was released by the Ministry in 2012, will be helm of the campaign.

The campaign aims create awareness about elephant corridors to encourage free movement in their habitat. During the period of the campaign, artists and craftsmen will create life-size works on the theme of elephants in places along the route of the roadshow using local art and craft. Specially fabricated vehicles will be also deployed to display these on pre-determined routes with campaigners.

World Elephant Day

The World Elephant Day is observed every year on August 12 to support various stakeholders involved in supporting various conservation policies to protect elephants. It also seeks to support stakeholders involved in improving enforcement policies to prevent illegal poaching and trade in ivory, conserving elephant habitats, providing better treatment for captive elephants and reintroducing captive elephants into sanctuaries.

The World Elephant Day was conceived in 2011 by Canadian filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark of Canazwest Pictures and Sivaporn Dardarananda, Secretary-General of Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand. Now it is supported by over 65 wildlife organisations and many individuals in several countries across the globe.

Elephants

As per the available population estimates, there are about 400,000 African elephants and 40,000 Asian elephants across the globe. Asian elephants are listed as “endangered” and African elephants are listed as “vulnerable” in the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

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29 July: International Tiger Day

The International Tiger Day (also known as Global Tiger Day) is celebrated every year on 29 July to raise awareness for tiger conservation. The goal of observance of the day is to promote the protection and expansion of the wild tigers habitats and to gain support through awareness for tiger conservation.

On this occasion, special programmes are being organized all over the globe by many international organisations including the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), the IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) etc. organized events.

Background

The International Tiger Day was founded in 2010 at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit. The summit had issued St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation with an aim to double the big cat population by 2022. The tiger is the largest of the world’s big cats with its distinctive orange and black stripes and beautifully marked face.

It is has been founded that in the last century 97% of all wild tigers had disappeared due to many factors including habitat loss, hunting and poaching, climate change. According to WWF, only 3,890 tigers are left in the world, of them, India with more than 2500 tigers has the highest number.

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