Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that killing of wild animals for illegal trade was a serious issue and government was taking a number of steps to prevent poaching and illegal trade. (Agencies)
Responding to supplementaries in the Lok Sabha, he said that the government was strengthening mechanisms in state through centrally sponsored schemes.
He said efforts are on to include wildlife smuggling in the agenda for bilateral interactions with relevant neighbouring countries.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed with Nepal to establish a joint task force to check trafficking across international borders.
To another supplementary, Javadekar said 17 species, which are on the verge of extinction, have been identified and plans are afoot to set up breeding centres.
He also said the number of tigers has increased in the country and the exact figure will be tabled in Parliament when available.
The minister also rejected suggestions that radio collars put on tigers affect their capability to hunt due to weight. He said the government is not aware of study but was willing to look into the issue if it is provided with the study.
Responding to a question on man-animal conflict, he said following a court ruling, states have been asked to decide on the area around eco-sensitive zones to avoid incidents like animals damaging crops.
4.8 percent of land including national parks, reserves and zoos have been declared as 'eco-sensitive zone'.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that killing of wild animals for illegal trade was a serious issue and government was taking a number of steps to prevent poaching and illegal trade.