New Delhi, Dec 18 (PTI) The government is not considering winding up the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and replacing it with a broader National Wildlife Conservation Authority (NWCA), a minister has said. Also Read - Sundarban Tiger Reserve Set to Reopen Its Gates to Tourists as COVID-19 Lockdown Eases

Minister of State for Environment and Forests Mahesh Sharma said that the Evaluation Committee, constituted for review of the XII plan schemes of the environment ministry, recommended that the conservation of the entire habitat needs to come under the ambit of an overarching wildlife authority and the regulatory scope of the NTCA be widened to include all wildlife, and be renamed as NWCA. Also Read - Leopard captured by forest personnel in Bhubaneswar

“Keeping in view strides made by the country in tiger conservation, which are globally acclaimed, the recommendation of replacing the NTCA with a broader NWCA has not found favour as the desired focus, which currently exists on conservation of an umbrella species, shall be lost,” he said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha. Also Read - Guj forest dept begins search for tiger seen in viral photo

To another question, Sharma also said it was not a fact that an average of 11 tigers died every month in the country and the count was increasing day by day.

Elaborating on details, he said that the total number of tiger deaths inside tiger reserves as on December 11 this year stood at 60.

In 2016, the total number of tiger deaths inside the tiger reserves was 71.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.