There were 127 tiger deaths, maximum (42) in Madhya Pradesh, in 2021 as compared to 106 deaths in 2020, informed Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ashwini Kumar Choubey the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
According to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a total of 127 tigers died in India in 2021, the highest in a decade. The NTCA data says, 60 of the 127 tigers that died were victims of poaching, accidents and human-animal conflict outside protected areas.
Tiger Deaths In India
Earlier, the number of tiger deaths in 2016 was almost (121) as high as in 2021. In 2021, the deaths showed an increase of about 20 per cent as compared to 106 tiger deaths recorded in 2020. The figure has raised concerns with experts calling for drastic conservation efforts, particularly the need to make places like forest reserves more secure.
Madhya Pradesh was home to 526 tigers, where 42 tigers have died, followed by Maharashtra, which had 312 tigers, where 27 tigers have lost their lives, and Karnataka, which hosts 524 tigers. Fifteen tigers were killed in Kaal Ka Gaal, Uttar Pradesh, where there were about 173 tigers, nine of them have been recorded dead.
Experts believe that the number of tigers killed may be higher, as a large number of natural deaths inside forests are often not reported. They call for better conservation plans to ensure reduction in human-animal conflicts. A clear route must be made for the animal to migrate to other forests. Tigers can travel hundreds of miles in search of their territory.
In the Sundarbans area of West Bengal, which is said to be the largest home of the Royal Bengal Tiger, the conflict between humans and tigers is continuously intensifying. The Sundarbans is shrinking continuously due to increasing population pressure and environmental imbalance. Due to this, the cases of human-animal conflicts are rising. Expressing concern over the rapid depletion of mangrove forests in the area, a recent study said that if the situation is not controlled, the Sundarbans will be left inhabitable for tigers by the year 2070.