Ramnagar (Nainital): Uttarakhand (The Dev Bhoomi Of INDIA) has lost 15 tigers within eight months this year, higher than the last year’s total of 14, says the official of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
“The figures are alarming enough to realize the growing threat to tiger population. Six (6) skin seizures and Three (5) poisoning and poaching incidents & Three (3) have been found killed accidents or by speeding vehicles together this year.
Figures by Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), a Delhi-based non-governmental organisation, say nearly 40% of tiger mortality in the state Uttarakhand is due to poaching and seizure. “Even if the number of tigers is increasing that does not mean we can let our tigers get killed by wildlife criminals,” Tito Joseph, project manager of WPSI, said.
What’s interesting is big cat mortality was reported more in protected areas than in territorial forest divisions. Cramped spaces for tigers in reserves or even conflict are possible reasons behind this trend.
Of the 15 skin seizures this year, Uttarakhand leads reporting six seizures. Five skins were seized from Kotkadar which falls in the buffer of “Jim Corbett” National Park.
“We are in the process of investigating several cases and therefore, it is too early to establish a percentage unless we have reasons of mortality of all tigers,” said HS Negi, inspector-general of forest, NTCA.
Not Only Tigers – Poachers adding Leopards as the new target:
Twenty two (22) of leopards have been killed so far this year. While some of them died of natural causes, a majority of these leopards were killed by poachers and in accidents. The Uttarakhand Police have recovered huge cache of leopard skin and body parts since the beginning of this year. Cops have seized 12 leopard skins and have arrested 11 people in since the beginning of this year. But even after stringent steps taken by wildlife authorities and the police, the smuggling of these body parts continues unabated.