India Accounts 329 Tiger Deaths in 3 Years, 29 Lost to Poaching
We thought we are saving endangered species - turns out, we are failing miserably
The tiger is a critically endangered species with its numbers rapidly declining. As per the 2018 tiger census, India is home to an estimated tiger population of 2,967 individuals. However, recent data presented by the government reveals has documented 329 tiger deaths in India in the past three years, with 29 lost to poaching.
According to the ministry data, 96 tigers died in 2019, 106 in 2020, and 127 in 2021. The reasons responsible for these deaths are poaching, and natural and unnatural causes. Meanwhile, 307 elephants have died in the same duration owing to poaching, electrocution, poisoning, and train accidents.
68 individuals died due to natural causes, five deaths were attributed to unnatural causes, 29 were lost to poaching, and 30 to seizures. Evidently, 197 tiger deaths happened under scrutiny. It is notable that the number of poaching episodes has declined over the years, from 17 cases in 2019 to four in 2021.
The government data also revealed that 125 people have been killed in tiger attacks in the last three years. The deaths included 61 in Maharashtra and 25 in Uttar Pradesh.
With Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Assam reporting 41, 34, and 33 elephant deaths, respectively, a total of 222 elephants died due to electrocution in the same time period. 45 creatures died in train accidents, with Odisha and West Bengal documenting 12 and 11 fatalities, respectively. Others were lost to poaching and poisoning.
The numbers really put a dent in India’s tiger conservation efforts. With rapidly changing climatic conditions, tigers are losing their habitats and anthropogenic hindrances are only making things worse. If the country wants its tiger population to revive and thrive, it really needs to work harder on wildlife conservation.