NEW DELHI, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Wildlife department in India's southwestern state of Karnataka has started an elephant census in its forests, officials said Wednesday.
According to the officials, the ongoing exercise has been started simultaneously across all protected areas and forests identified to harbor elephant population.
"The teams involved in the census would use line transact count and water source method to carry out the headcount," an official from the wildlife department said.
The census was flagged off at Bandipur forests on Tuesday and volunteers have been roped in to help the forest department to carry out the census.
The Mysore Elephant Reserve, spread across Bhadra-Nagarahole-Bandipur-BRT Wildlife Sanctuary, Cauvery Wildlife Reserve, and Bannerghatta, covering more than 11,000 sq-km, is believed to harbor most of the elephants in the state.
Officials said the elephant census is conducted every five years.
The previous census in 2012 pegged the elephant population in Karnataka at 6,072 with Bandipur and Nagarahole accounting for nearly 1,500 elephants each.
Officials said the census is part of a nationwide elephant headcount, which is being conducted to minimize possible errors.