The government of India informed the Lok Sabha on 10 August 2018 that as many as 237 tigers died in the country in the last two years (2016-2017). It also said while 23 per cent of deaths from 2012 to 2017 were due to poaching, 55 per cent of the total deaths recorded were due to natural causes.
“In 2016, 122 tigers died while 115 died in 2017,” minister of state for environment Mahesh Sharma said in his written reply to a Parliament question. He said during 2012-17, 55% of the tiger deaths were due to natural causes, 7% were due to unnatural causes not attributable to poaching (like deaths in rail or road accidents or in human-wildlife kind of conflict situation) while 23% died due to poaching. In case of remaining 15%, the authorities found tiger body parts or seized such parts at different point of time — it means such deaths may or may not be due to poaching and that’s why such deaths are put in different category.
Asked whether the government has assessed the impact of such unnatural deaths on the growth of the number of tigers, he said, “Unnatural deaths have not had an impact on tiger numbers which are growing at the rate of 5.8 per cent per annum. (The Times of India)