Alarmed at the instances of poaching of tigers in the last three months, the Centre has sounded red alert across 17 states.
"We have asked the tiger range states to be on their toes to ensure that poachers do not kill animals. There have been intelligence inputs that tiger killers are on the prowl," National Tiger Conservation Authority member secretary Rajesh Gopal told PTI.
There are some wandering gangs which are targeting the big cats in tiger reserves, particularly in the North-east and Central India. In view of serious threats to tiger reserves in Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, separate alerts have been sent to these states to tighten security, Gopal said.
In the past three months, eight tigers were killed or found dead in Kaziranga. In Kanha too, four to five tigers are believed to have been killed or found dead in the past one year. Early this year, a tiger skin was found in the Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand.
At present only 1,400 tigers are left in the country as per the recent census conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), a fact which has raised serious concern among wildlife activists as well as the government on their declining numbers.
"We have also passed on intelligence and information to the states about the poachers and have asked them to take steps to be vigilant," Gopal added.