India lost 11 tigers in 2 weeks

Tiger deaths have gone up in the past 15 days, with at least 11 big cats perishing during the period, as per the official directory of National Tiger Conservation Authority. Nearly half of these deaths (5) have happened in Maharashtra and three each occurred in Madhya Pradesh and Kerala.

A six-monthly review of the official data for the first six months of 2020 — from January 1 to June 28 — shows that at least 56 big cats have died so far.

However, the data from Wildlife Protection Society of Indi, a national NGO working for wildlife law enforcement, pegs the deaths for the period at 58, two more than the NTCA count. It says 68 tiger deaths were reported during the same six-month period in 2019.

WPSI’s central India director Nitin Desai said, “While the mortalities in 2020 are fewer when compared to 2019, some cases should be a matter of concern. The case of a tigress and her two cubs poisoned in Tadoba buffer on June 11 is one such. Not only did it wipe out an entire tiger family, but also deprived a forest of its big cat population, as this tigress would have delivered more litters in her lifetime,” he added.

While the NTCA data says that most of the tiger deaths are still under investigation, the WPSI statistics says that of the 58 deaths this year, 15 were due to poaching and seizures and 23 perished due to infighting.

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