Dehradun: Highlighting the concern over conservation of the big pachyderm, the nation commemorates ‘Elephant Day’ on Tuesday to emphasize on the reducing number of elephants. If timely measures are not implied to save the ‘jumbo’, they may become a rare sight in the state.

An unhealthy trend of the reducing groups of the elephants has been observed at the Rajaji and Corbett national park. While groups of elephants, as large as 60 in number, were a common sight two and a half decades back, this has now reduced to 20-30 in number.

The animal lovers and experts have raised concerns on their reducing population and have warned that if attention is not paid on time, the big animal may soon become endangered.

Big groups consisting of 50-60 elephants used to be a common phenomenon in Rajaji national park, but now, one needs to work hard to spot even a few of them. Similar situation persists in Corbett and adjoining forest reserves.

Looking back, the elephants survived in a suitable habitat and used to travel up to Bihar, unhindered by any human barrier. Though there are 1200-1400 elephants in the area, their restricted movement seems to have a negative impact on their species.

While the movement of the elephants is restricted by roads and railway tracks passing through the area, human interference has also limited their numbers. The limited availability of food for the elephants in the contracting jungles with increasing quantity of unwanted weeds is a matter of concern.

Moreover, the failure in preventing illegal hunting of tuskers has been a major hurdle in conservation of the pachyderm.

It is to be noted, since the formation of Uttarakhand, 193 elephants have lost their lives in the state.