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Of 88 tiger deaths in 2012, 59 by poaching

                                                                                     Deccan Chronicle, New Delhi, 27th February, 2013
The country lost 197 tigers in the past three years with 2012 recording the highest number of 88 deaths, including 59 due to poaching, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

In a written reply, environment and forest minister Jayanthi Natarajan provided the figures related to tigers poached and deaths of big cats due to natural and other causes since 2010.

In 2012, 59 cases of tiger poaching were registered by various state governments, while 29 big cats died due to natural and other causes.

The highest number of 10 poaching incidents last year was recorded in both Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

With 16 incidents of poaching, 2011 saw a total of 56 tiger deaths. In 2010, 53 such incidents were recorded, including 28 incidents of poaching.

Informing the House about the steps taken by her ministry for tiger conservation, Mr Natarajan said, "At present, India has the maximum number of tigers and its source areas among the 13 tiger range countries in the world, owing to its long history of conserving the species through Project Tiger."

She said out of 39 tiger reserve in the country, 15 were rated as very good, 12 as good and eight as satisfactory. Four reserves were rated as poor according to the Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Tiger Reserves in 2011.