With 122 deaths, including 21 confirmed poaching and seizure cases, 2016 registered an alarming rise in tiger deaths. If the current trend continues, this year may fare worse.
According to the break up provided by the government, till July 25, the number of confirmed cases of poaching, including seizure, stands at 15, while 53 cases are under scrutiny. Fiver tigers have died due to natural causes.
With six cases, Maharashtra tops the charts in terms of poaching and seizure cases, while Assam with five deaths is trailing closely behind.
However, at 12, the maximum number of cases under scrutiny is in Madhya Pradesh. Eleven cases are being probed in Karnataka, according to the reply to a written question.
India has 50 tiger reserves and the total number of tigers, according to official assessment, is 2,226.
2013 and 2014 had recorded 79 and 81 tiger deaths respectively, where cases of poaching and seizure were 19 and 21, according to official data.
"Owing to high detection rate as a result of better enforcement and effective coordination amongst different enforcement agencies of the government and field formations under the state government, an increase was noticed in 2016," the reply said.