Rahul Gandhi, MP, has urged the Ministry of Environment and Forests to expedite steps to curb the recurring wildlife attacks in Wayanad.
In a letter to Union Minister for Environment Bhupender Yadav, Mr. Gandhi said tiger reserves and protected areas in the Western Ghats were home to the largest tiger population in the world.
The Nagarahole-Bandipur-Sathyamangalam-BRT-Mudumalai-Wayanad section spread across Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu harbours over 800 tigers and has one of the highest tiger density in India. As per the Tiger Census 2022, the Wayanad landscape is home to at least 80 tigers, Mr. Gandhi said.
However, the Western Ghats is one of the most densely populated biodiversity hotspots in the world. Furthermore, the eco-sensitive zones in Wayanad have the largest number of structures in the State, he said. This has resulted in growing human-wildlife conflict and loss of lives. In 2023 alone, two persons were killed in tiger attacks in Wayanad, Mr. Gandhi added.
Most of the victims were farmers or workers toiling in vast plantations. The attacks have fuelled public anger and led to growing resentment towards wildlife conservation efforts, he said.
Mr. Gandhi said he had written to the Chief Minister on the matter.