|70 percent of the wild tigers remaining in the world are found in India|
Though the latest tiger population estimates in India point to an increase in the population of striped cats in the country, situation is far from safe for these big cats, shows the tiger mortality data from 2014. According to the data on tiger mortality from last year, 18 percent of the total tiger deaths in the country were due to confirmed cases of poaching. 75 per cent of the remaining cases of tiger deaths, authorities have not ruled out poaching as the cause.
According to Prakash Javadekar who heads the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, 78 tigers died of different reasons in 2014 in India. 14 of these deaths were from confirmed cases of poaching. 48 cases of tiger mortality are still under scrutiny, since the officials are not able to rule out the chances of poaching as a reason for the death. 16 deaths happened out of other reasons, says the figures released by the Ministry.
While Tamil Nadu topped the list with 17 tiger deaths in 2014, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra followed with 15 and 10 cases respectively. Among these, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu has the most cases of tiger deaths due to confirmed cases of poaching – 3. However, Tamil Nadu also tops the list of cases under scrutiny with 11 cases under investigation.
Answering a question by Motilal Vora, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar informed Rajya Sabha on Thursday that 17 tigers died so far in 2015 across the country, among which 2 cases- both from Uttar Pradesh- are confirmed as cases of poaching. Again 14 cases are still under scrutiny to confirm the cause of death. According to the tiger mortality database maintained by National Tiger Conservation Authority, officials have seized 4.5 kg of tiger bones, 2 tiger canines, 17 kg flesh along with 2 tiger skins from Pilibhit in January.
As per the latest population figures of the striped cats in the wild, there are an estimated 2226 tigers in India in 2014, lower and upper limits being 1945 and 2491 respectively. In 2010, it was 1706 (lower and upper limits being 1520-1909 tigers), and in 2006 it was 1411 (lower and upper limits being 1165 and 1657). Tiger reserves in India are home to 70 percent of the tigers left in the world. across 18 states, the 47 tiger reserves cover almost 2.06% of the country's total geographic area.