New Delhi: The Government of Orissa has notified three Elephant Reserves namely Mayurbhanj, Mahanadi and Sambalpur. Permission for notification of South Orissa Elephant Reserve and Baitarani Elephant Reserve (which includes Keonjhar Forests) has been accorded by the Ministry in the year 2005. The State Government has yet to notify these two Elephant Reserves.
Under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, the State/UT Governments are empowered to constitute any area of faunal importance as a protected area. In the case of wild elephants, migratory corridors have been identified. Where the corridors consist of only notified forests and/or protected areas, statutory cover already exists. But there are corridors with non forest lands also and they need statutory cover. For such corridors, the State/UT Governments have been requested to provide legal cover either under Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 or under Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986.