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ACCIDENTAL DEATHS OF WILD ANIMALS

15 Dec 2017
Lok Sabha


1.    SHRI PARTHA PRATIM RAY:               
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state:


(a)    whether the accidental deaths or immature deaths of wild animals particularly elephants and tigers are increasing in different parts of the country;
(b)    if so, the number of accidental deaths that have been reported during the last three years and the current year, State and years-wise; and
(c)    the measures taken/proposed to be taken by the Government to stop the accidental deaths of wild animals?

MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE (DR. MAHESH SHARMA)

(a)&(b)    Reports of accidental death of wild animals particularly elephants and tigers have been received in the Ministry from the different parts of the county. However, as per the available information, accidental death of tigers has not increased. In case of elephant, the information provided by the State Governments shows oscillation in figures of elephant death. State-wise details of accidental death of tigers and elephants during last three years and the current year is given in the Annexure.
 
(c)    The measures taken by the Government to reduce death of wildlife including  elephants  and tigers are given below:

i. Financial and technical assistance is provided to States/UTs  under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes of ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat’, ‘Project Tiger’  and ‘Project Elephant’.

ii. The States have notified good elephant habitats as “Elephant Reserves”, for better conservation and management of elephants.  So far 29 Elephant Reserves have been established in 14 States.

iii. Elephants and tigers are included under Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, to provide it highest degree of legal protection.

iv. A general advisory has been issued jointly to all the railway zones and relevant States Governments suggesting measures to prevent collision of trains with wild elephants. Some of the important recommendations are given below:

(a)    Clearance of vegetation on the sides of railway tracks.
(b)    Underpasses/overpasses/girder bridges across vulnerable stretches of railway tracks to allow safe passage elephants.
(c)    Signage boards at selected points to alert train drivers.
(d)    Sensitization programmes for Train Drivers/Guards/Station Masters.
(e)    Engagement of elephant trackers and communication with Station Masters.
(f)    To keep Railway tracks free from food wastes, that attracts elephants.

v. A permanent coordination committee has been constituted jointly by the Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Environment and Forests to share information and monitor the implementation of the advisory.

vi. Regular and extensive patrolling of forest areas and anti poaching measures by frontline filed staff of the State Forest Departments.

 vii. Trainings and awareness camps are organised regularly for local people for conservation of elephants and other wildlife.

viii. Local communities are organised into Joint Forest Management Committees/Eco-development Committees for protection of wildlife, elephant habitat, including elephant corridors.

ix. To reduce man-animal conflict and to avoid retaliatory killing of wild animals  compensation is provided to local communities for loss of their property and life caused by wild animals including tigers and elephants.

 xi. Creating awareness among neighbouring villagers and general public on importance of protecting wild animals including  tigers, elephants and their habitats.

xii. Chief Wildlife Wardens has been requested to take up the issue with electricity departments to prevent sagging of electric transmission lines and maintenance to minimum ground clearance as per rules.

xiii. The 2006 amendment of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 enacted section 38 O (1)(b) and 38 O (1) (g) which mandate the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to evaluate and assess various aspects of sustainable ecology and disallow any unsustainable land use.  In addition section 38 V (3) (b) of the said Act, provides for dispersal habitats and corridor for spill over population of wild animals from the designated core areas of tiger reserves or from tiger breeding habitats within other protected areas, which are safeguarded by letter and spirit of section 38 O (1)(g).  

xiv. The Ministry along with the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, has published a document titled “Eco Friendly Measures to mitigate impacts of linear infrastructure on wildlife” to guide field managers and engineers to design and build smart green infrastructure.

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