Tigers face survival threat
TNN 27 November 2009, 05:13am IST LUCKNOW: Despite being the most prized possession of Indian wildlife, survival for tigers could be getting difficult with each passing year. It is not a figment of imagination but the hardcore reality as reflected in the official figures.
MoEF data for the past four years shows that tigers killed in 2009 (with count probably still on) is double and (at times) triple the number of big cats dead in previous years. In 2006, as many as 22 tigers were reported dead by several states/wildlife crime control bureaus. The 2009 figure of 59 tiger deaths (still open) is almost three times of the figure available for 2006.
The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 provides enabling provisions for protection and conservation of tigers. The tiger has been accorded the highest degree of protection and placed in Schedule I of the said Act, reads the official release by MoEF sharing the four years record of tiger mortalities.
In 2007, 30 tiger deaths were reported and in 2008, the number stood at 28. Both the figures are lesser compared to the present year's data. In 2009, tiger deaths have been reported from 14 states. Out of all, Madhya Pradesh `topped the chart' with 13 tiger mortalities, Assam followed second with 10 and Karnataka was a close third with 9 tiger deaths.
Among the other states' figure, Maharashtra -- 4 tiger deaths, Uttrakhand -- 7 tiger deaths, Rajasthan -- 3 tiger deaths, West Bengal, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh -- 2 tiger deaths each, Uttar Pradesh -- 3 tiger deaths, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Odisha and Kerala -- one tiger death each.
Apart from the mortalities reported, there 7 tiger skins have been seized in 2009, so far. While two tiger skins each have been seized from Delhi and Andhra Pradesh, one tiger skin each has been seized from Maharashtra, Uttrakhand and Tamil Nadu.