Published On : Fri, Aug 5th, 2022

Bad news: 16 tigers died in Maharashtra in 7 months of 2022: NTCA data

All tiger deaths in the State took place in Vidarbha which is called as the ‘tiger capital’ of the State.

Nagpur: A data released by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has revealed that Maharashtra has recorded 16 tiger deaths in the State in the last seven months. All the fatalities were in Vidarbha which is called as the ‘tiger capital’ of the State.

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According to the NTCA data, 16 tiger mortalities were reported till August 2022 in Maharashtra which is the second highest in the country after Madhya Pradesh (27). As per the data, all 16 deaths took place in Nagpur, Akola, Gondia, Chandrapur, Umred, Bhandara, Bramhapuri, Allapalli and Gadchiroli forest divisions due to various reasons. Among these 16 deaths, only two deaths were reported inside tiger reserve, 13 were outside tiger reserves and remaining were unknown.

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The data also revealed that only one female tiger died in these seven months, 11 were male tigers. In other cases , gender of the animal was not mentioned in the data. Majority of tiger deaths in Maharashtra have been reported in areas where there is a high density of tigers both inside and outside the tiger reserves.

In Maharashtra, there are six tiger reserves in which five are in Vidarbha namely Melghat (Amravati), Tadoba (Chandrapur), Pench (Nagpur), Bor (Wardha) and Navegaon-Nagzira (Bhandara ). Sahyadri Tiger Reserve is the only tiger project which is spread over Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Ratnagiri districts of Maharashtra. No tiger death is entered into the database of NTCA, unless an authentic source from the State Government reports a tiger mortality. Even if a tiger death is reported from third party sources to the NTCA, a confirmation is obtained from the State before recording it.

As per the data, Maharashtra recorded 184 tiger deaths from 2012 to August 2022 which is also the second highest in the country after Madhya Pradesh. In the 2012-2019 period, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) reported the highest 18 tiger deaths in the State, followed by Pench Tiger Reserve (12), Melghat Tiger Reserve (11), Navegaon Nagzira (2) and Bor Tiger Reserve (1).

According to the Forest Department’s data, 9 tigers died of natural causes or due to territorial fights. Whereas, 4 deaths were due to electrocution, 2 deaths due to accidents and only 1 due to poaching. The only poaching incident took place in Bhandara Division. As per NTCA, forensic officials conduct detailed investigation into the reason behind the tiger deaths and if it is proven that tigers died due to poaching, stringent action is taken against those responsible. NTCA is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change constituted to strengthen tiger conservation, as per the powers and functions assigned to it under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

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