New Delhi: The tiger numbers are dwindling and it's a reason to worry! Despite massive conservation efforts undertaken by government to save India's tigers, tiger deaths have persisted in the country.
According to a report, India has lost 41 tigers in 7 months i.e from January until August 9 this year. This data has been provided by National Tiger Conservation Authority and TRAFFIC-India, the wildlife trade monitoring network.
The most noteworthy thing revealed by the data is that tigers are dying not just from natural causes, but they are also being shot to death by authorities in case of man-animal conflicts. Poaching, shooting, snares and traps, poisoning by villagers are other reasons enumerated for the decreasing numbers in the study.
Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are the states that have reported the maximum number of tiger deaths .
Last year, another cause of death cited was poaching by poisoning using organophosphorous compounds. Other causes included cardio-respiratory failure and even retaliatory killing by electrocution near Dhamokar at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh.
A senior official from the state forest department said that most tiger deaths in the state have been due to intentional poisoning by villagers. "There have been instances when a tiger was poisoned by villagers for revenge or out of fear. Tigers usually eat their prey in phases. Villagers know this and, at times, poison a carcass as they know that the tiger would return to feed on it. There have also been instances of electrocution of tigers in Vidarbha, when villagers intentionally left an electrical wire lose, to kill a tiger," he said.
(With Agency inputs)