As many as 1,059 tigers have died in India since 2012 with Madhya Pradesh recording the most number of deaths.
Known as the ‘tiger state’, Madhya Pradesh accounts for 270 deaths during the period.
According to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), this year so far, a total of 75 tigers have died, while the number was 127 for 2021, the highest in the period of 2012-2022.
Official data suggests that in 2020, as many as 106 tigers died, while the number was 96 in 2019, 101 in 2018, 117 in 2017, 121 in 2016, 82 in 2015, 78 in 2014, and 68 in 2013 and 88 in 2012.
Apart from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra recorded 183 tiger deaths, Karnataka recorded 150 and Uttarakhand reported 96 deaths.
In addition, Assam (72), Tamil Nadu (66), Uttar Pradesh (56) and Kerala (55) were the states that reported the most number of tiger deaths during that period.
Moreover, Rajasthan (25), Bihar (17), West Bengal (13), Chhattisgarh (11) and Andhra Pradesh (11) also are on the list.
In the last one-and-half years, while Madhya Pradesh saw 68 tiger deaths, while Maharashtra reported 42 deaths in that time.
It may be noted that Madhya Pradesh emerged as the ‘tiger state’ in the 2018 tiger census with a population of 526 tigers which was followed by Karnataka with 524 tigers.
Meanwhile, 193 tigers died during poaching during 2012-2020 period. Authorities reported 108 deaths due to ‘seizures’ and 44 due to ‘unnatural’ causes in the period.
Poaching is considered as the reason for all tiger deaths in the beginning, according to NTCA.
Supplementary details like autopsy reports, forensic and lab reports and circumstantial evidence are gathered for closing a particular case as either ‘natural’, ‘poaching’ or ‘unnatural but not poaching’.
The onus of proving a case as natural or poaching rests with the state. In the event of any doubt, in spite of the evidence, poaching is ascribed as the reason for death.