Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN, Jan 21, 2011, 07.03am IST
NAGPUR: From 40,000 tigers hundred years ago, today India is down to just 1,411. No wonder. Latest study by Traffic International, the wildlife trade network in 11 of the 13 tiger range countries, reveals that India is most vulnerable when it comes to tiger skin and body parts trade.
The study 'Reduced to skin and bones', an analysis of tiger seizures from 11 tiger range countries in a decade (2000-2010), reveals that in addition to habitat loss and degradation, human encroachment, excessive poaching of key prey species and illegal trade in tiger parts were greatly contributing to the rapid decline of tigers in the wild.
"The study included all seizure information available from January 2000 to April 30, 2010. No data were recorded from Cambodia and Bhutan and hence these countries were omitted," said Samir Sinha, head, Traffic India. A total of 481 seizures were analysed, suggesting a minimum of 1,069 (annual average 104.2) and maximum of 1,220 (annual average 118.9) tigers killed for their parts and derivatives. The vast majority of these seizures took place in India (276), followed by China (40), Nepal (39), Indonesia (36) and Vietnam (28).