Ecologists have mapped Asian elephants in the Indian state of Karnataka down to the smallest forest administrative unit. The detailed map, which shows where elephants exist inside and outside protected areas, could help conservation planning and minimize human–elephant conflicts.
Karnataka has the largest population of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in India. But recent decades have witnessed increased pressure on their habitat and clashes between people and the jumbos. A detailed map of elephant distribution is crucial to understand where humans should get priority, where elephants should and where they can coexist. Yet, there is no microscopic map of Asian elephants anywhere.
Photo credit: Subhra Priyadarshini