Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Mahinda Amaraweera informs that a wild elephant population census will be conducted in 2023.
The Minister speaking at a progress review meeting of projects due to be implemented in 2023 by the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation today (20) said an elephant census was last carried out in 2022.
Ministry Secretary Chandra Herath, the Director Generals of the Wildlife and Forest Conservation Departments and other senior officials were present at the meeting.
The Minister said according to the 2022 census, the number of wild elephants exceeded 5,000.
Accordingly, the wild elephant census is being conducted after 12 years, while the Minister noted that due to the lack of officers belonging to the Wildlife and Forest Conservation Departments the support of civil organisations, NGOs, environmentalists and others interested will be required in conducting the census.
The Minister said facts revealed by the census will be crucial in revealing the wild elephant population in Sri Lanka, will assist in implementing programmes to prevent wild elephant and human conflicts, protecting agriculture from wild animals and in minimising crop damage.