The highest number human death (118) was recorded in 2015.
Guwahati: Assam forest minister Parmila Rani Brahma on Thursday said that more than 141 sqkm of forest land of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries is under encroachment.
Asserting that her government has launched a mega drive to evict encroachers from these lands, Ms Brahama informed Assam Assembly that man-animal conflicts was responsible for the death of at least 99 elephants in the past five years.
Pointing out that of the 141.76 sqkm of sanctuary land under encroachment, 42 sqkm was in four of the five national parks of the state, Ms Brahma said that they have however succeeded in evicting encroachers from Kaziranga.
“There is no encroachment in Kaziranga after the authorities carried out an eviction drive in September 2016,” she said.
She said that deaths of 99 elephants were due to incidents like electrocution, poaching, poisoning and train accidents between 2012 and 2016. The minister said 46 elephants died because of electrocution whereas 27 elephants were killed in train accidents. The poachers killed 27 elephants and 11 died due to poisoning, she said.
Assam lost at least 426 human lives also in between 2012-16. Most of these deaths were due to wild elephants. The highest number human death (118) was recorded in 2015.
Assam also recorded death of 36 leopards in the last five years, of which 27 leopards lost their lives in retaliatory after the animals had entered human habitations and caused death and injury to human beings and domestic animals. Poaching and poisoning accounted for six and three leopard deaths respectively, Ms Brahma said.
The minister also informed that state recorded natural death of 101 one-horn rhinos out of which 93 deaths were recorded in Kaziranga National Park alone.
The minister also informed that among the 18 wildlife sanctuaries in Assam, Sonai-Rupai topped the chart of encroachment, with 85 sqkm of it in the grip of illegal settlers. About 2.28 sqkm of Amchang wildlife sanctuary in Guwahati, 5.08 sqkm of Burachapori, 3 sqkm of Laokhowa, 4 sqkm of Bornadi, and 0.34 sqkm of Bherjan-Borjaon-Padumoni wildlife sanctuary were under encroachment, she said.
About the national parks under encroachment she pointed out that Manas Tiger Reserve had 31 sqkm under encroachment, Nameri 5 sqkm, Dibru-Saikhowa 3.17 sqkm and Orang National Park 2.35 sqkm.