According to the official data of the government, India has lost as many as 750 tigers in the last eight years to poaching and other activities. The state of Madhya Pradesh alone has lost 173 tigers.
Of the 750 tiger deaths in the country, 369 of them died due to natural causes while 168 succumbed to poaching and 70 deaths are still under investigation. The remaining 42 deaths are cited as due to unnatural reasons like accidents. From 2012 to 2019, the country also saw the seizure of 101 big cats by different authorities. The information was released by the National Tiger Conservation Authority as a part of the reply to an RTI query.
In the RTI query, the National Tiger Conservation Authority was asked to reveal the details of the tiger deaths between the years 2010 and 2020. However, the department failed to provide the details of 2012 to 2019. The Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar had said that the number of tigers in India had increased by 750 in the last four years. The minister had said in Rajya Sabha,
“Now the tiger count is 2,976. We must be proud of our whole ecological system. Tigers have increased by 750 in the last four years.”
Activists call for stricter laws
Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of casualties of 173 tigers in the last eight years. Of them 38 were due to poaching, 94 died of natural causes, 6 because of unnatural reasons, 16 seizures while the remaining 19 were under scrutiny. However, Madhya Pradesh also has the highest number of tigers in India with 526 tigers.
Maharashtra reported the second-highest deaths with 125 followed by Karnataka with 111 while Uttarakhand reported 88. Tamil Nadu and Assam both have recorded 54 deaths each. Wildlife activists have repeatedly raised concerns over the deaths of Tiger. Bhopal-based activist Ajay Dubey said,
“It is a matter of grave concern that tigers in such large numbers have died due to poaching and other reasons. There is a need for stricter penal provisions for those found guilty of wildlife crimes. Much attention is paid on Tiger tourism by state governments concerned which is affecting their natural habitat. There is a need to speed up the efforts to conserve the tiger. The government must make harsher punishment for wildlife-related crimes.”
Source: The Times of India