Tiger deaths rise in India
India’s wild tiger fatalities are rising. The country has lost 48 tigers in the last 22 weeks. The largest number of tigers have been killed in the premier Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand and in the Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra.
“With constant pressure from Far Eastern markets for tiger parts it has never been more important for us to come together to secure precious tiger habitats,” says Melanie Shepherd, CEO of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. “Our projects in India, Thailand and Russia are helping to maintain the stability of tiger populations in these areas but we need to keep up the fight to protect the wild tiger.”
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has confirmed that 19 out of the 48 deaths to be clear-cut cases of poaching but wildlife experts claim poaching deaths could be much higher. Tiger deaths reported in 2010 were 56 while the number of deaths reported in 2011 were 52.
A sharp rise in poaching has created a situation where Mr SP Yadav, deputy inspector general of the NTCA, admits that “Tiger reserve states are now afraid to report mortality of a tiger. But in order to ensure that all deaths do get reported, we now insist that someone from NTCA will be present for the post-mortem (of a tiger).”
On May 15th, minister of environment Jayanti Natarajan had disclosed that India had lost 32 tigers in the last five months. The last three weeks have seen tiger deaths rise by another startling sixteen in number. Mr Yadav admits that one of the NTCA’s biggest weaknesses has been in the field of intelligence gathering. “Intelligence gathering is the backbone of anti-poaching activities. Delay in reaction allows the poacher to get the upper hand,” he said.
The situation is spinning out of control because of the rising demand for tiger parts across Asia.
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Photo Credit: EIA
Source: Asian Age