New Delhi: Notwithstanding efforts by the government to conserve tigers, as many as 32 big cats have died in the country in the last four months, even as the latest official data showed an increasing trend in the national animals population estimates.
Expressing concern over the endangered status of the tiger all over the world, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan today said as many as 32 tigers have died this year out of which 18 were natural deaths.
“A total of 32 tigers have died this year. 18 were natural deaths and we are constantly looking into the reasons for it,” Natarajan told reporters on the sidelines of First Stocktaking Meeting of Global Tiger Recovery Programs (GTRP).
She was asked about the number of national animals which died or were killed by poachers this year.
Meanwhile, in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister informed a total of 14 tigers were poached till May 2012.
“Poaching is one of the reasons. Other reasons such as man-animal conflict, we are already addressing those issues,” she told reporters.
Informing the House on the increasing trend of tiger population, she said, “The tiger population has shown an increasing trend with a population estimate of 1706, as compared to the last country level estimation in 2006, with an estimate of 1411.” Delivering her key note address in the first stocktaking meeting of GRTP, Natarajan also spoke about the new forest reserves being established by the government to ensure a safe habitat for the tiger.
“We are in the process of establishing more tiger reserves,” she said.