The state forest department has decided to attach collars fitted with GPS tracking devices to wild elephants to monitor the movement of herds in north Bengal.
The project, sources said, would be carried out in association with the Indian Institute of Science (IISC).
“It has been planned to implement the project in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Assam and West Bengal. In Karnataka, the state forest department has already put collars on some of the wild elephants. We will now do it in northern parts of Bengal and then in Assam. The work would be taken up by April end. We will take help of foresters and experts,” said Aritra Kshettry, a researcher at the IISC, over phone.
According to him, GPS-GSM collars would be used to track the jumbos. These are made in France and costs Rs 2 lakh each. It weighs around 14 kilos.
Initially, the collars would be fitted on one female adult elephant each from two different elephant corridors. “In north Bengal, the elephant corridor stretches from the India-Nepal border to the Bengal-Assam border. Wild elephants roam through this corridor round the year. We will identify one female each from these corridors and tranquillise them to fit the collars,” said an official.
He also pointed that the collars would help the department monitor movement of the herds round the clock.