The Supreme Court has asked the Centre as to what measures, including framing of a national policy, have been taken to save endangered wildlife species like Great Indian Bustards and snow leopards.

A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud granted four weeks' time to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to respond to the PIL filed by ecologist Vidya Athreya and others.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioners, said that wildlife species like Great Indian Bustards, snow leopards and wolves are on the verge of extinction and they needed to be conserved.

He also referred to unnatural deaths of elephants on highways and railway tracks and said that the area earmarked for the largest mammals was not sufficient enough.

The PIL said that the railways and highway authorities should evolve mechanisms like constructing underpass and fencing roads to ensure that elephants do not get killed.

The plea referred to the issue of climate change and said that there should be safe corridors for allowing wildlife animals like elephants in moving from one place to another to beat extreme weather conditions.

Divan also submitted that there should be a comprehensive policy to avoid man-animal conflict. He also told the court that there is a need to enhance genetic pool of particular species.

“There is a need for positive policy and not general policy and to protect endangered species,” Divan said.

The matter will come up for hearing after four weeks.