IOCL donates ₹50 lakh for GPS collars to Koundinya elephants

The collars will help track movement of herds in the wildlife sanctuary

The Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has donated ₹50 lakh to the A.P. Forest Department for tagging wild elephants in the Koundinya wildlife sanctuary with GPS collars.

The sanctuary is spread over Bangarupalem, Palamaner and Kuppam mandals of Chittoor district, and is flanked by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Senior forest officials of Chittoor West Division said that on Thursday, a team of IOCL personnel from Chennai visited Chittoor and made a donation as part of the oil major’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) outreach.

Officials said that there are about 35 wild elephants in Koundinya wildlife sanctuary, split into various herds. The main objective of tagging the wild elephants with GPS collars is to track their movements and prevent them from raiding crops.

Minimising man-animal conflict

The collars, which are expensive, would be fitted to leaders of each herd. A herd is led by its oldest female elephant called a matriarch. The movement of the herds would be monitored through a separate app. Whenever a herd comes close to fields or if they cross the forest fringe areas and come close to human habitations, the GPS collars would send alerts to elephant trackers, who will rush to the spot in no time to divert the elephants towards the forest.

A team of wildlife experts from Jharkhand would take up the task of tagging the elephants with GPS collars in the next few days.

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