Tiger deaths in India at an all-time high 

There have already been 142 tiger deaths in the country till September 20 as against 121 during the entire last year, and 127 in 2021.
Representational image: Tiger hiding behind a bush at Bandipur Tiger Reserve. (Photo | EPS)
Representational image: Tiger hiding behind a bush at Bandipur Tiger Reserve. (Photo | EPS)

NEW DELHI: Less than two months ago, India celebrated the success of its tiger conservation efforts, with the data suggesting an annual population growth rate of 6.1%. 

Now comes the worrying downside: tiger deaths across the country have reached an all-time high, with more than half of them perishing outside the tiger reserves.

There have already been 142 tiger deaths in the country till September 20 as against 121 during the entire last year, and 127 in 2021. About 51% of the tiger deaths so far this year (73 of 142 deaths) happened outside tiger reserves, whereas in 2022, the number was 43% (52 of 121).   

Most of the deaths were in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Assam.

While the rise in the number of tiger deaths is concerning, experts say it is commensurate with the increase in tiger population. “As the population is increasing, so is the number of deaths,” S P Yadav, member-secretary, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), told this newspaper. “We need to be concerned if the deaths are due to poaching,” he added.  Many tiger deaths since 2019 are under investigation for links to poaching.

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The New Indian Express
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