FADING ROAR?
India Today|December 06, 2021
TIGER COUNT
Rahul Noronha

A slew of tiger deaths in Madhya Pradesh has set off alarm bells in the state’s wildlife establishment. At 39 deaths so far in 2021, with a month still to go before the year closes, the spike in MP’s tiger mortality rate (up from 32 in 2020) has authorities fretting over potential consequences.

At a headline level, the state is at risk of losing its prestigious ‘tiger state’ tag, which it had wrested from Karnataka in 2019. As per the latest quadrennial wildlife census (2019), MP’s tiger population was 526, just two more than Karnataka’s. However, Karnataka has reported 15 tiger deaths so far in 2021 whereas MP’s count of 39 deaths is 34.5 per cent of the total 113 deaths recorded in India this year. Of these, 28 have been attributed to natural causes (i.e. infighting) and 10 to poaching. The report for the one remaining death is awaited.

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