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| Last Updated:: 13/10/2017

Seismic sensors to prevent elephant deaths on tracks











Dehradun: In a bid to prevent elephant deaths due to train accidents across Uttarakhand, officials of the Project Elephant initiative, in a recently-held meeting in Delhi, have decided to install seismic sensitive sensors along railway tracks near forested areas. The detection system will be manufactured by the Chandigarh-based Central Scientific Instruments Organisation with the help of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Dehradun. 




According to experts, seismic sensors are an effective methodology to track jumbos. The feet of elephants have complex vibration sensors that emit low-frequency seismic waves which are used for communication. The sensors placed along elephant routes can catch these low-frequency waves and alert railway control rooms. 




R K Shrivastava, director of Project Elephant, said, “The system will enable railway staff to take instant measures and prevent elephant deaths.” 




According to official data, 23 elephants have died after colluding with trains between Motichur range and Kans Rau, notoriously called the “killer track” since 1987. One elephant died on October 15 last year in the Rajaji Tiger Reserve and two were killed after being hit by a speeding train in Udham Singh Nagar district in April this year. 




Dhananjai Mohan, additional principal chief conservator of forests, said, “Seismic sensors would be more effective than some current ones which are in use.” 




According to K Ramesh, WII scientist, “The sensors can also detect the number of elephants, distance of the particular animal or a herd from the track. It may take a few months or a year for the CSIO to design these seismic sensors.” He also suggested that ultrasonic sensors used to track bats can also be modified to detect elephant movement.









Source: The Times of India