By Bagish K. Jha
Even as India is striving hard to save the big cats, the country has lost fifty tigers so far this year against 72 tiger deaths in 2012.
Heading the list is Karnataka with the loss of 13 tigers till now, followed by eight in Maharashtra, seven in Uttarakhand and five in Madhya Pradesh. Out of the five tiger deaths in Madhya Pradesh, two are from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, two from Pench Tiger Reserve and one from Katni forest division.
National Tiger Conservation Authourity (NTCA) DIG, SP Yadav on Wednesday said, every tiger in the country is under threat from poaching. Under the new protocol issued by NTCA on tiger mortality, cause of every tiger death will be considered as due to poaching, till the time state government proves it otherwise with proper evidence.
Earlier there was trend among states to hide exact cause of the death. Now rules have been changed so as to highlight the actual cause of tiger deaths. The NTCA directions will bring in more transparency in the post-mortem process.
Yadav stressed that poaching in India takes place to feed markets in China. Burma and Nepal have emerged as new routes for smuggling of tiger body parts, however, government is taking several steps to check poaching. Focus is on tiger conservation through satellite with uses of more advanced and sophisticated electronic and digital systems.
Right now, India has around 1,500 tigers and NTCA is maintaining a photographic record of every tiger. Every tiger in the country has been given unique identification markings based on their stripes. More....