Poachers Step Up Assault on India’s Tigers

Poachers Step Up Assualt on Tigers - Photo by Dr. Caesar PhotographyForty-eight tigers were reportedly killed in India from January through the beginning of June this year, double the 2011 rate. Most of the deaths occurred in Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand and in the Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, and most are believed to be at the hands of poachers.

According to the wildlife trade monitoring network, TRAFFIC, poaching of tigers to feed consumer demand for their body parts and products is now the main factor thwarting governments, donors and other partners in their effort to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022—a goal articulated in a “Tiger Summit” held in St. Petersburg, Russia, in November 2010 and attended by officials from the 13 tiger range states.

Fewer than 2,500 breeding adult tigers are believed to be left in the wild, and their numbers are declining. Amidst the alarming spike in tiger deaths in India, the tiger range countries met in New Delhi in May for the first time since the Tiger Summit to review steps taken thus far—including coordination of anti-poaching efforts—to reverse the decline and find some path toward the 2022 goal.