Forest Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan has stressed the need to ensure the protection of wildlife habitats to reduce man- animal conflicts in the areas bordering forests.

Inaugurating the State-level observance of the World Wildlife Day here on Monday, he said environment and biodiversity assumed much importance in the present context. Kerala, he noted, was particularly careful in conserving its forest wealth.

“According to the latest figures, the State is home to 7,000 elephants and 100 tigers. The increase in the number of wild animals leads to conflict with humans. The solution is to give more importance to the protection of wildlife habitats,” he said.

The Minister called for steps to preserve and enhance the human environment under the provisions of the Stockholm Convention.

B.Sugathakumari presided over the function. Additional Chief Secretary P. K. Mohanty, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests R.Rajaraja Varma and Chief Wildlife Warden V.Gopinath were among those who spoke.