Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday expressed happiness that the state got its fifth elephant reserve at Agasthyamalai in Tirunelveli district and said the mammals play a critical role in balancing the forest ecosystem.
Responding to Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav’s announcement on accepting a proposal of the Tamil Nadu forest department to notify 1,197.48 sq km area of land as an elephant reserve, the Chief Minister said, “On World Elephant Day 2022, I am glad that Tamil Nadu gets its 5th Elephant Reserve at Agathiyamalai in Tirunelveli District.”
The Chief Minister further said in a tweet “elephants play a critical role in balancing the forest ecosystems. The majestic mammals are nature’s assets that we must conserve at all costs.” Nilgiris-Eastern Ghat, Nilambur Silent Valley in Coimbatore, Srivilliputhur and Anamalai are the four existing elephant reserves in the state.
Speaking at the World Elephant Day celebrations at the Periyar National Park in Kerala’s Idukki district, Union Minister Yadav had announced that the Central government will establish an elephant reserve at Agasthyamalai thereby adding another 1,197 sq km of protected area dedicated for protection and conservation of elephants in India.
India has 31 elephant reserves. In the last three years, Dandeli Elephant Reserve has been notified by Karnataka, Singphan Elephant Reserve by Nagaland and Lemru Elephant Reserve in Chhattisgarh. These efforts brought a total of 76,508 sq km across 14 states in the country under elephant reserves, he said.