Increase in tiger deaths due to several reasons: Minister

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Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav on Thursday informed the Rajya Sabha that tigers die due to a myriad of reasons such as poaching, old age, health issues, electrocution and in-fighting between them. However, there are no stringent rules to reduce poaching.

Responding to a question asked in the Upper House, he said that the government has held meetings to incorporate strict rules against poaching, and have submitted reports regarding the same too.

Several tigers live outside the designated tiger reserves. Talking about managing human-tiger conflict, he said: “I admit that there is a serious issue of human-animal conflict, and we will bring it down in areas with dense population.”

Replying to another question, the minister said that a tiger census, based on a scientific method, is underway.

While replying to a question of CPI(M) MP Dr V. Sivadasan on protection from wild boars, he said that as per the provision of the Wildlife Protection Act, the Chief Conservator of Forest Officers (CCFO) have been sent a guideline by the Ministry and the concerned state along with the CCFO will take suitable measures to safeguard human life.

In response to CPI Member Binoy Viswam’s question on reducing forest cover in the country, he admitted that while a decrease in moderate forest has been recorded, there has been a significant growth in the overall forest cover across the country.

He told the House that here are three categories of forests in India- medium, moderate and open forests and the dwindling green cover has been noticed only in moderate forests.

Yadav also informed the House that under Bio-Diversity, forests and wetlands, both are important and are considered as lungs and kidney of the environment.

“As of now ,we have 25 per cent forest cover and four per cent wetland. Of these four per cent, one third belong to the woods and rest are outside the forest. The government has been working for the preservation of both of them,” he said.

He further added that the government is also trying to preserve the world acclaimed mangrove cover in West Bengal’s Sunderban. It is divided between India and Bangladesh and both the nations have a Memorandum of Understanding for the preservation of the Sunderbans.

Yadav, as the Labour Minister also informed the House that there has been a 22 per cent increase in employment compared to 2014. He said that the latest periodic labour report said more two lakh jobs were added despite Covid-19.

“Around 3,80,00,000 jobs have been created in the formal sector post 2013-14,” he said.

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