Elephant (Elephas maximus) being the largest terrestrial mammal requires large areas, and hence, is usually one of the first species to suffer the consequences of habitat fragmentation and destruction. The Elephant Reserves offers hope to rejuvenate some of the fragmented habitats.

   In the state of Odisha, where many forest habitats are shared by the tiger and elephant, the establishments of ERs have raised the hope to unify fragmented tiger habitats as well.

   Three Elephant Reserves (ERs) namely, Mayurbhanj ER, Mahanadi ER and Sambalpur ER, have been notified by the State of Odisha to conserve prime elephant habitats and launch various management interventions. The extent of notified and proposed forest blocks in these three reserves is 4129 sq. km, and the geographical area covered by these three reserves is 8509 sq. km. In order to (a) include most of the remaining important elephant habitats within ERs, (b) redress the problem of rising number of cases of elephant depredation and (c) reverse the trend of habitat fragmentation and degradation, it is proposed to expand the area of Mahanadi and Sambalpur ERs, and constitute two new ERs called the Brahmani-Baitarani ER and the South Odisha ER. After declaration, the forest area encompassed within ERs will be about 25% of the total forest area of the state; and about 90% of the elephants will be within these Reserves.

Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve(Constituted: September 2001)

Districts : Portions of Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak and Keonjhar
Forest Division : Similipal Tiger Reserve, Karanjia, Baripada, Rairangpur, Balasore WL,Keonjhar WL Division
Latitude North : 21° 10' to 22° 35'
Longitude East : 85° 45' to 87° 05'
Area : 7043.74 sq. km

Mahanadi Elephant Reserve(Constituted: June, 2002)

Districts : Angul, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Kondhmal, Dhenkanal
Forest Division : Portions of Angul, Athagarh, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Boudh and Dhenkanal, and entire Satkosia Wildlife Division, Mahanadi Wildlife Division and Athamallik Forest Division.
Latitude North : 20° 10´ to 21° 5´
Longitude East : 84° 15´ to 85° 58´
Area : 1038.30 sq km

Sambalpur Elephant Reserve(Constituted: March, 2002)

Districts : Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda
Forest Division : (Parts) of Bamra (Wildlife), Bonai, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Rairakhol.
Latitude North : 20° 5’ and 22° 12
Longitude East : 83° 13’ and 84° 58
Area : 426.91 sq km

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