Tiger deaths on the rise
274 tigers have died in the past four years, the largest number of deaths between any two tiger
THE FINDINGS of the 2014 tiger census are likely to be released this month, but there is bad news for the big cat. At least 274 tigers have died in the past four years, Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar said in response to a question in Parliament. This is the highest number of tiger deaths reported between two assessment cycles, which take place every four years. Only 82 tigers died due to natural reasons. More than 70 per cent of tiger deaths were due to poaching or unknown reasons. According to the 2010 census, India had approximately 1,706 tigers. Between 2006 and 2010, around 180 tigers were reported to have died. From 2002 to 2006, 105 tigers had died, while 146 tigers were reported dead between 1998 and 2002. According to S P Yadav, deputy inspector general with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the death figures are unlikely to census will reveal whether or not tiger population has risen despite the high mortality.