13 of 49 tiger deaths, highest in India, reported in Madhya Pradesh this year

Bhopal: In all, 49 tigers have died in India this year with the highest number of deaths at 13 recorded in Madhya Pradesh, the Lok Sabha was told on Friday. Minister of State for Environment Mahesh Sharma in a written reply said as per figures recorded till December 12, total tiger mortality stood at 49, with 13 and 10 deaths registered in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, respectively.

He also said around 13 elephant casualties in train accidents have been reported in 2018-19 (up to November 15 in 2018). He said around 35 elephant died by electrocution in 2018-19 (up to November 15 in 2018), while three elephants have died during the same period due to poaching.

Replying to another question, he said the total number of leopard poached during 2015, 2016 and 2017 are 194 and in the current year till October, the figure is 66.

Sharma said the Environment Ministry in partnership with the German Development Cooperation (through Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)) has approved the Indo-German technical cooperation project on ‘Human Wildlife Conflict Mitigation in India’. “The project aims at providing technical support to the government of India at the national level and in selected sites as pilot states like Karnataka, Uttarakhand and West Bengal only,” he added.

Poaching, infighting, train accidents main causes

In MP, the tigers died due to various reasons ranging from poaching and infighting to infection and collision with train, sources in forest department said. Electrocution, poisoning, human-tiger conflict are among other reasons of the big cat deaths in MP as well as other parts of the country.

According to state officials, the high tiger mortality in the state has become a cause of worry for wildlife enthusiasts and officials. Once known as the tiger state, Madhya Pradesh lost the tag to Karnataka in 2010 following a census conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India.

Last year, too!

  • At least 115 tigers died in India in 2017.
  • 28 of these deaths – again highest in country – were recorded in Madhya Pradesh. On an average, 9 tigers have died every month during these two years.
  • 21 tigers had died in Maharashtra.
  • 16 tigers had died in Assam.