In what will probably be the first such attempt, the States of Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have decided to conduct a synchronised elephant census between May 9 and 12. The four States together have the maximum number of human-elephant conflict-prone regions in India.

How will the counting be done?
The States will conduct the census based on an identical set of rules — using the following counting methods. 
1.    The direct counting method is based on sighting of elephants.
2.    The indirect method uses the ‘dung decay’ formula, in which the the analysis of elephant dung is used to estimate the population. The second method has already been used by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

As per the 2015 census, Odisha has 1,954 elephants while Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal had approximately 700, 275 and 130 elephants, respectively.