The elephant in the room

Print edition : December 13, 2013

A tusker about to charge in Kabini, Karnataka. The spatial demands of elephants are large. Photo: K. JAYARAM

Elephant herd in quaint lighting, Kabini. The majesty of the huge mass moving against the backdrop of verdant forests invokes an image of eternal harmony set in nature's great rhythm. Photo: K. JAYARAM

Tusker in Kabini. Maintaining gene pool diversity is essential for this mammoth herbivore. Photo: K. JAYARAM

A sambar with its young, in Bandipur, Karnataka. Photo: K. JAYARAM

Elephant herd, Kabini. The Segur plateau is a majestic stretch of wilderness with a thorny dry habitat connecting it to the vast expanse of the Eastern Ghats and the Mysore plateau. Photo: K. JAYARAM

The vast congregation of elephants at Thekkady, Kerala, at the height of the summer is an awe-inspiring sight. Photo: T.N.A. PERUMAL

A tigress snarling, Bandipur. Photo: K JAYARAM

Sloth bear, Bandipur. Photo: k. jayaram

Leopard, Bandipur. Photo: K. JAYARAM

Indian gaur, Bandipur. Photo: K. JAYARAM

Hyenas occur in the forests adjoining Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu. Photo: DHARAM KHANDAL

Wild dogs in Bandipur. Photo: k. jayaram

Tusker on the move in Kabini. Photo: K. JAYARAM

When forests fragment, elephant populations fragment too. Just as fragmented forests become unviable, fragmented elephant populations are doomed to dwindle. A consequence of this can be reduced flow in the rivers, such as the Bhavani in Tamil Nadu.
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