NATIONAL

India lost 63 wild tigers in 2013

A camera trap of a male tiger in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary— Photo: Special Arrangement

A camera trap of a male tiger in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary— Photo: Special Arrangement  

The country lost 63 of its wild tigers in 2013. The first tiger death of the year was reported from the South Brahmapuri forest range of Chandrapur district, Maharashtra, on January 6, 2013 caused by suspected poaching. The last wild tiger death of the year was reported from the Heggadadevana Kote range of the Mysore forest division in Karnataka on December 28, 2013 and the cause is under investigation.

A good majority of the wild tiger deaths in the country was the result of poaching. Data on the wild tiger deaths released by the National Tiger Conservation Authority confirmed that 48 of the wild tiger deaths in 2013 were caused by poaching or suspected poaching.

Old age as the cause of death was reported in only two instances — at the Similipal Tiger Reserve in Orissa and the Kharangana forest range in Maharasthra. Two tigers were killed by poisoning — one at Kaziranga Tiger Reserve, Assam, and the other at Pilibhit forest division of Uttar Pradesh.

One tiger in the Gondia district of Maharashtra was shot dead by the forest authorities in January 2013 because it was confirmed to be a man-eater. In another instance, a tiger cub was killed and partly eaten by an adult male tiger in the Panna Tiger Reserve of Madhya Pradesh. Another cub died after falling off a high cliff in the Ramnagar forest division of Uttarakhand and the incident was reported on March 8, 2013.

A tiger was killed by a train hit at the forests of Chandrapur in Maharashtra in April 2013. In the same incident, another tiger was injured, the NTCA reports. The highest number of wild tiger deaths was reported from Karnataka —16 — followed by Maharashtra with nine. From Assam and Uttarakhand, eight deaths each were reported.

Out of the 16 wild tiger deaths in Karnataka, five each were reported from the Bandipur Tiger Reserve and the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve. Five wild tiger deaths were reported from Kerala during the year and four of them occurred at the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. Only one wild tiger death was reported from Tamil Nadu and that was in the Nilgiri south division forests on March 11, 2013.

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