New Delhi : India’s forests have lost at least 110 royal striped cats including 17 tigress since 2002 due to poaching and natural deaths, according to a government data.
The figures made available under the RTI Act reflects that the royal predators have been unsafe not only in non-protected area but also inside reserves, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported Monday quoting the data.
This year till November, 14 cases of tiger mortality including four tigress and two cubs have been reported.
Of six cases of poaching, three tigers were killed in the last month itself with one each outside Kanha and Khatiya buffer range in Madhya Pradesh, and another in Dudhwa tiger reserve in Uttar Pradesh, according to the data.
Similarly, as many as 30 endangered big cats died in 2007, highest in the past five years, with 16 perishing in reserves while 14 in non-protected areas.
Five big cats died in world famous Corbett Tiger reserve in Uttar Pradesh while Bandipur park in Madhya Pradesh lost two tigress whose death reasons could not be assessed due to completely putrefied status of the body.
During the same period, 14 cases of tiger mortality was reported from outside reserves of which five of the big cats were killed in poaching and three due to poisoning.
A man-eater tiger which had strayed in Chandrapur in Maharashtra Nagpur region had to be shot dead by the forest department late last year.
“These are official figures and the actual figures may be higher,” Delinda Wright, prominent wildlife expert, noted.
The situation was grim in 2006 too when eight tigress and two male striped cats died inside the reserves in various tiger range states.