<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The number of Indian tigers had hit an all time low of 1,411 in 2006, however the estimated tiger population in India had drastically improved to 2,226 in 2014.Now, according to a Mid-Day report, a data compiled by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) indicates that 2017 could again be a bad year for India’s tigers. In the first 65 days of 2017, 21 tiger deaths have been reported.The numbers uploaded on Tigernet revealed that 19 tigers had died in the corresponding period last year. The overall figures for 2016 are alarming as well – 99 tiger deaths, the highest figure in the last six years. This was a drastic rise as the year-wise tiger death toll from 2012 to 2015 was 72, 63, 66, 70 respectively.The report said that of the 99 deaths in 2016, 21 tigers had died of natural causes, 12 died in territorial fights, five were poisoned, one tiger died in an accident, one drowned, two were killed in man-animal conflicts and two were electrocuted and poached. While of the 21 tiger deaths this year, three were caused during territorial fights, one by electrocution and one died of natural causes while the cause of 16 deaths is yet to be ascertained.MoS Environment Anil Madhav Dave in a written reply in Rajya Sabha during the Winter Session last year had informed that tiger deaths have registered an increase of 25% in 2016. He said instances of poaching had doubled too. Jharkhand’s tiger population had also gone down from 10 to 3. The total number of tigers across 44 tiger reserves in India was 1,586 in 2016. (With PTI inputs)

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Bad year for tigers? 21 big cats dead in 65 days of 2017