By Bipin Chand Agarwal
BAHRAICH: The country lost 63 tigers in 2013 with Karnataka alone losing 16 big cats. The data released by the National Tiger Conservation Authority states that poachers accounted for the death of 48 tigers in different parts of the country last year. In comparison, 72 tiger deaths were reported in 2012.
The date says Madhya Pradesh lost 12 tigers while Maharashtra accounted for nine deaths followed by Assam and Uttarakhand with eight deaths each. Five tiger deaths were reported from Kerala and one each from Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
The first tiger death of the year was reported from South Brahmapuri forest range of Chandrapur district in Maharashtra on January 6, 2013. It was caused by suspected poaching. The last wild tiger death of the year was reported from the Heggadadevana Kote range of Mysore forest division in Karnataka on December 28, 2013, and the cause is under investigation.
Old age as the cause of death was reported only in two instances -- one at Similipal Tiger Reserve in Odisha on February 16 and the other at Kharangana forest range in Maharashtra on August 25. Two tigers were killed by poisoning -- one at Kaziranga Tiger Reserve in Assam on September 15, 2013, and another at Pilibhit forest division of Uttar Pradesh on November 26 the same year. Besides, UP also lost two leopards to poachers in Kataniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary and Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.
Also, a tiger was shot dead by forest authorities in Gondia district of Maharashtra on January 12, 2013, because it was confirmed to be a man-eater. In another instance reported on February 2, 2013, a tiger cub was killed and partly eaten by an adult tiger male in Panna Tiger Reserve of Madhya Pradesh. P 4
One tiger was killed after being hit buy a train at the forests of Chandrapur district in Maharashtra on April 15, 2013. In the same incident, another tiger was also injured, said the NTCA report.
Out of the 16 tiger deaths in Karnataka, five each were reported from the Bandipur Tiger Reserve and the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve. Five wild tiger deaths were reported from Kerala during the year and four of them occurred at the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. Only one tiger death was reported from Tamil Nadu, at the Nilgiri south division forests on March 11, 2013.
In 2012, the number of tiger deaths as reported by the NTCA stood at 72, with Maharashtra accounting for 13 of them, followed by Madhya Pradesh with 12 and Uttarakhand with 11 deaths. In Kerala, five tiger deaths were reported in 2012 and one of them was shot dead by the forest department on December 2, 2012, at the Wayanad Wldlife sanctuary after confirming that it was a man-eater.