Twenty eight people lost their lives in tiger attacks last year: Govt

New Delhi: Twelve cases of poaching of tigers around reserves were reported last year while 28 people lost their lives due to attack by the wild cats, Lok Sabha was told today.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said while 12 cases of tiger poaching was reported in 2015, 14 and 20 were reported in 2014 and 2013 respectively.

Similarly, in 2014-15, 28 people died after they were attacked by tigers while in 2013-14, 33 people had lost their lives. In 2012-13, 21 had lost their lives.

Javadekar said the supplementary guidelines circulated by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in the context of managing buffer and peripheral areas clearly state that habitat conditions in such areas should be kept sub-optimal to the core but be judicious enough to facilitate dispersal so as to reduce human animal conflict.

"Monitoring human animal conflict is one of the objectives of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or drone project. Initiatives have been taken to use drones for mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts," he said.

Replying to another question, he said as per the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) data, out of 19,156 species of vascular plants from various surveys carried out in the country, 1236 species belong to different threatened categories like critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable.

He said studies conducted by Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have recorded over 96,000 species of animals from India. Among these, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed 18 species of amphibians, 14 fish, 13 bird species and ten mammals as critically endangered and 310 species as endangered including 69 fishes, 38 mammals and 323 amphibians.

"The threats on plants and animals in India is mainly because of habitat fragmentation and degradation of ecosystems. Huge biotech pressure on flora and fauna compounds the situation," he said.