Bengal tiger cools off in Bombay Zoo, India July 29, 2021Punit PARANJPE
The Indian Tiger Protection Authority (NTCA) has announced that 126 of these endangered felines perished in 2021, the highest toll since this body began collecting data on the matter. in 2012.
India is home to around 75% of the tigers in the world. It is estimated that 40,000 of them lived in the country at the time of its independence in 1947.
The census population fell to 1,411 in 2006 before rising to 2,967 in 2018, the government announced two years ago, a performance described as “historic” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This increase should however be put into perspective due to the colossal means implemented to exhaustively identify tigers in 2018, in particular an unprecedented number of cameras and software for recognizing the patterns of stripes.
During the past decade, most of the tiger deaths reported had “natural causes”, according to the NTCA, but many felines have also been victims of poaching or “human-animal conflicts”.
India, a country of 1.3 billion people, is struggling to curb the destruction of tigers’ natural habitat caused by urban development and deforestation.
Some 225 people were killed in tiger attacks between 2014 and 2019, according to government figures.
The government has made efforts to better manage the feline population, however, creating 50 reserves across the country to protect their habitat.