MP ranked 3rd in tiger deaths last year
Madhya Pradesh recorded the third highest number of tiger deaths in the country in 2015, with data from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) revealing that 11 big cats had died in the state.bhopal Updated: Jan 05, 2016 19:21 IST
Madhya Pradesh recorded the third highest number of tiger deaths in the country in 2015, with data from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) revealing that 11 big cats had died in the state.
The tigers died from various reasons, ranging from natural deaths and infighting to traps and snares.
Highest number of tiger deaths recorded in Karnataka
According to tigernet, the official database on tiger mortality maintained by the NTCA, a total of 69 tiger deaths were reported in the country.
The highest number of deaths was recorded in Karnataka with 15, followed by Maharashtra with 12. These figures exclude the recent death of a tiger, which fell into a well in the buffer zone of the Pench Tiger Reserve.
Most of tiger deaths were natural, claims PCCF
Principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) Narendra Kumar told HT that most of the tiger deaths were natural and in the rest of the cases, a detailed investigation is generally carried out to ascertain the exact cause of the death.
“We cannot stop natural deaths or deaths from territorial fights, but we can make efforts to stop deaths from poaching. In MP, we have decided to improve our intelligence network and use better forensic methods to keep a tab on what was happening in the forests. We will train more of our staff members in the forensic procedures,” he said.
Wildlife officials should move on foot across protected areas: expert
Wildlife expert and former chief conservator of forests PM Lad said tiger deaths due to natural reasons and infighting couldn’t be stopped. “But wildlife officials can make more efforts to stops deaths due to poaching and avoidable accidents, like from radio-collar infections,” he said.
“I have often said this that unless wildlife officials move on foot across the protected areas and understand the wildlife, no efforts to protect the wildlife would succeed fully,” Lad added.
With the maximum number of big cats, MP was known as the ‘Tiger State’ but lost the tag to Karnataka in 2010 after a wildlife census conducted by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) determined that the latter state had more of the striped mammals.
However, MP has made slight gains, with the number of tiger deaths decreasing marginally in comparison to 2014, when 14 tigers had died. However, 2014’s figure does not take into account the death of a white tiger at the Indore zoo due to a cobra bite.
Seven tiger deaths already reported in 2016
However, 2016 has not started off on a good note, with seven tiger deaths already reported — five from Maharashtra and one each from MP and Uttar Pradesh. “These deaths are shocking and show that there is a need for strict protection to tigers and leopards outside tiger reserves, especially in the corridors”, said Kishor Rithe, president of the Satpuda Foundation, an NGO which works for the protection of tigers.
First Published: Jan 05, 2016 18:42 IST