More trouble for wild tigers in India

Kollam India tiger

More trouble for wild tigers in India as improper monitoring and spikes in poaching are attributed to the high rate of tiger deaths in 2016

On June 27th, the Deccan Chronicle reported that the recent death of a tiger at the Achankovil Forest in Kerala has raised eyebrows as the incident sheds light in to numerous tiger deaths that are occurring in the forests across the state recently. Not less than five tigers were reported to be dead in the forests or in proximity in the last two years, according to experts. A majority of these deaths were as a result of poaching or by human interventions including setting up traps.

“There have been many projects including the Project Tiger envisaged for the benefit of the tigers. However, all these projects lacked proper monitoring and need a revival,” M.N. Jayachandran, co-opted member, Animal Welfare Board of India told DC. The negligence towards these sensitive animals which are less in number continues to exist.

Night traffic along the proximity of forests adversely affects the animals. Most of the wild animals including leopards and tigers fall prey to the human beings after they come out of the forest in search of food apart from being poached. A comprehensive probe is necessary for the conservation of these animals, Mr. Jayachandran said.

On June 29th, the Times of India reported that at least 74 tigers died between January 1st and June 26th this year in India. Statistics collected from different parts of India by the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) notes a spike in poaching-related fatalities.
Among these, 14 tigers were electrocuted, poisoned or simply killed by poachers—most of the carcasses were recovered.

Police and wildlife authorities also seized skins, bones, claws, skeletons, canines and paws of another 16 tigers during this period, taking the tally to 30. It is possible that some of them might have been killed earlier but the deaths are accounted for only after the seizures.

Another 26 tigers were “found dead,” a category that includes mortality due to disease, old age or unexplained circumstances. Further statistics show: 12 tigers were victims of infighting, 2 involved tiger-human conflicts, 3 deaths due to road or train accidents, and 1 death caused by fights with other animals.

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