Mortality Assessment
As per the official records total death of elephants in
Wayanad wild life sanctuary area during 1991- 2001 were

Seasonality of the Deaths
It is seen that maximum mortality occurred during summer
seasons, over the past 10 years.

Deaths were extremely high during pinch periods and
coincide with the high density of the animals during these
seasons.  Low mortality was observed during the October -
November months. Human casualties and incidences of
crop raiding pattern also agree with these pinch periods.  

Mortality Annualised Trend
It is seen that high mortality occurred during the year
1996.  The estimated population size of the elephants for
the year 1994 was 272, 354 in 1995 and 360 in 1996
(Easa, et al., 1996). And thus a high density was observed
during 1996.

Out of the total deaths during 1996, death due to diseases
60%, natural causes 16% and death due to man elephant
conflict stood at 24%. Probably the higher elephant density
can explain the higher figure of mortality during this period.
No outbreak of diseases of epizootic nature were observed
or reported during this period.

Mortality Due to Man Elephant Conflict
The term 'mortality due to man elephant conflict' in this
context is primarily mentioned when the mortality is inflicted
on the elephants during crop raiding. There were seven
cases of elephant deaths resulting from human elephant
conflict. This is apart from other causes of mortality like
poaching etc. This high incidence, during 1996, agrees
with the high-density pattern.

Many malicious practices are used by the residents to
prevent crop raiding, resulting in elephant mortality.  Main
practices currently used are:

1.         Use of high tension electric lines for electrocution
2.         Crude explosives
3.         Use of pesticides and fertilisers
4.         Country made shotguns
5.         Spiked wooden planks placed on ground

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