Madhya Pradesh is a major poaching ground with a strong gun culture. This was the finding of Empower Foundation, a Mumbai based NGO working on Sanjay Gandhi National Park's man-animal conflict.
The NGO in its report submitted to the forest department has stated that lions should not be translocated to Kuno as Madhya Pradesh is known to be a major poaching ground and the state has lost 453 tigers out of 710 (63% loss) in a decade. The state as per the 2011 census has only 257 tigers. The loss of tiger in Madhya Pradesh was 50 per cent of the total loss of the tigers across the world.
Jalpesh Mehta has claimed that between 2000 and 2010, about 1079 tigers have died across the globe and of these 453 were in Madhya Pradesh itself.
It was also pointed out that Sariska and Panna have recently lost all their tigers. The two sanctuaries had 28 and 25 tigers respectively and Palpur Kuno had only two tigers. Once upon a time, Kuno used to have 25 tigers.
Sheopur district has 4800 fire arm licenses for a population of six lakh and the sanctuary area was once a hub of dacoits from Chambal. As these are licensed guns, one cannot estimate the illegal fire arms present in the area. Also the state has an adjoining sensitive location - situated on the border of three states namely Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. More....