India is losing its tigers fast, poachers on prowl
While wildlife enthusiasts were ecstatic over rise in tiger population across the country in 2016, there is a lot of reason to worry this year. Just four months into 2017, Karnataka alone has lost 12 tigers already. A report from the ministry of forests and environment paints a grim picture of how poachers and natural causes are killing India's tigers. While the statistics are for 2014-2016, the unofficial numbers for 2017 are already worrying.
Apart from being the 'Tiger capital' of the country, Karnataka is on its way to become the 'poachers capital' as well if an alert given by National tiger conservatory authority is anything to go by. The alert warns that poachers from central and northern parts of the country are migrating down south. Despite the Karnataka forest department's vigilance, rate of tiger mortality is only increasing.
"Analysis of tiger deaths across the country in the last three years due to poaching, excluding seizures, shows that the average number of tiger deaths due to confirmed poaching is 9 and the confirmed poaching cases in 2016 alone if 12," said Anil Madhav Dave, minister for forest and environment while maintaining that the number was quite high.
Madhya Pradesh lost 16 tigers due to poaching and natural causes in 2014, the number rose to an alarming 32 in 2016. Karnataka stood second in tiger deaths with 17 casualties out of which 3 were confirmed cases of poaching and 4 are under scrutiny. In 2017, Karnataka has already lost 12 tigers and is all set to overtake its 2016 number. The numbers have got environmentalists worried.