The Union’s environment, forest, and climate change ministry dismissed as “lopsided” media allegations claiming the country’s highest tiger deaths occurred in 2021.
“While it is appreciated that figures from the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s (NTCA) website have been used in these reports, how they have been presented is alarming and does not take into account the wide range of processes that go into dealing with tiger deaths in the country, as well as the natural gains that have been made in tiger conservation as a result of sustained technical and financial interventions by the government of India,” the minister said.
According to the report, 60 of the 126 tiger deaths were caused by poachers, accidents, or animal-human conflict outside of protected regions. The papers also overlooked the procedure of determining the cause of tiger mortality, according to the ministry. According to the report, the NTCA follows a strict protocol when determining the cause of a tiger’s death. The ministry stressed that the causes of the deaths of 60 tigers outside of tiger reserves could only be determined after a thorough investigation.
The government’s efforts through NTCA were cited in the statement, which stated that the tiger population has been brought “from the edge to a guaranteed road of recovery.” It highlighted the quadrennial All India Tiger Estimation from 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018, as well as the fact that the big cat population has grown at a healthy annual rate of 6%. In the Indian context, the ministry claims that it compensates for natural losses and keeps tigers at carrying capacity in their habitats.
The study covered the years 2012 through 2021 and stated that annual tiger fatalities average around 98, which is “balanced by annual recruitment as demonstrated by this robust growth rate,” according to the statement. It went on to say that the NTCA has made many efforts under Project Tiger’s ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme to fight poaching, which is also under control “as evidenced by proven poaching and seizure cases.”