DC | Rashme Sehgal | 11 hours 54 min ago
New Delhi: India saw a sharp increase in tiger deaths, which reached an all-time high of 88 tigers dead in 2012, according to data released by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). This is the highest number of fatalities in one year, overtaking the 71 tiger deaths in 2011.
Mortality rates have been unusually high in Corbett National Park and Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. Overall, a large number of tiger deaths have been reported from the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka and can be attributed to increased poaching.
Both Maharashtra and Karnataka recorded 14 tiger deaths each while Uttarakhand reported 12 deaths followed by Madhya Pradesh with eight deaths while 28 tigers died due to natural causes. The last all-India tiger population estimation in 2010 had placed the number of tigers at 1,636. Wildlife conservationist Belinda Wright blames government apathy.
“The NTCA has put a Phase 4 monitoring protocol in place. While some states are following it, others are lagging. Tiger densities in Karnataka and TN are high but the situation in Kerala is very bad with the state coming up with exaggerated numbers, especially for Wayanad Reserve,” said tiger biologist Ullas Karanth.