Centre notifies rules allowing transfer of ‘captive’ elephants

Syllabus: GS-III; Subject: Environment, Ecology and Disaster Management Topic: Indian Initiatives, efforts and Commitments, Issue: Captive Elephants rules.

Context: The government has issued new rules, called the Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024.

Key points:

  • Elephants can be transferred when the owner can’t maintain them or for better upkeep, approved by the Chief Wildlife Warden.
  • Genetic profiling registration is necessary before transferring elephants between states.
  • Amendments to the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 allow transfer only for elephants with existing ownership certificates.
  • Controversy: Recommendations to limit transfers were made but not implemented, retaining the allowance for captive elephant movement.

Prelims Connect (Policies/Schemes)

Project Elephant (1992):To safeguard elephants, mitigate human-elephant conflicts, and ensure their welfare.

✔        Through 31 elephant reserves, including recent additions like Dandeli in Karnataka and Singphan in Nagaland.

✔        Leading states: Karnataka > Assam >Kerala.

✔        Asian elephants

o    IUCN status: Endangered

o    Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I

o    CITES: Appendix I

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