NEW DELHI: Population of wild animals like lions, tigers and elephants have increased over the years across the country, Rajya Sabha was informed today.
"Estimates of population of major wild animals indicate that there has been an increase in their numbers. The number of Asiatic lion has increased from 304 in 1995 to 523 in 2015, while that of tiger from 1,411 in 2006 to 2,226 in 2014 and of elephant from 25,569 in 1993 to 29,391-30,711 in 2012," Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said in a written reply.
From 2012-13 till now, a total of 72 people have died due to attack by tigers while a total of 769 people lost their lives in elephant-human conflicts.
"Degradation of the habitat including, depletion of water and food availability is considered some of the reasons for wild animals to come out of its natural habitat.
"Wildlife management primarily focuses on improvement of habitats of wild animals by augmenting the availability of food and water in forest areas to reduce the entry of animals from forests to habitations," he said.
Javadekar said assistance was also provided to states for payment of ex-gratia relief, management of wildlife conflict situations and construction of physical barriers wherever feasible. In many parts of the country, anti-depredation squads have also been set up to drive away problematic animals.
Keeping in view the losses to crops inflicted by the wild animals, the Ministry in December last year had issued an advisory to states highlighting the legal provisions under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 to deal with the human- wildlife conflict situations.
He said the Ministry has also issued a detailed advisory in June this year regarding the priority actions for management of human wildlife conflict.
"The state and UT have been requested to institute a 'Human Wildlife Management Strategy' along with other suggested measures for the proper management and prevention of human wildlife conflict situations," he said.