New Delhi, Jul 6 (IANS): The Environment Ministry on Wednesday announced the formation of a new elephant reserve in Tamil Nadu, which will take the total number of such reserves to 32 across India.
"In an important step towards conserving our national heritage animal, I am thrilled to share with you that Tamil Nadu will bring 1,197.48 sq km area under Agasthiyarmalai Elephant Reserve," Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav tweeted.
The Tamil Nadu Cabinet has passed a proposal to this effect and sent it for concurrence to the Environment Ministry, which in turn would send its approval in a day or two.
Stating that most of the elephant reserves are outside the protected areas, a senior ministry official said, "Once this geography is recognised as a reserve, the status of the place and management interventions witness a paradigm change. Plus, states get Central financial assistance."
Tamil Nadu's existing elephant reserves include Nilgiri, Coimbatore, Nilambur, Srivilliputhur and Anamalai.
Once the Agasthiyarmalai Elephant Reserve is notified, it will take the number of elephant reserves across the country to 32, spread over an area measuring 68,700.4 sq km.