The Centre has expressed its unhappiness over the manner media reports have highlighted the death of tigers in India in 2021.

The Centre has expressed its unhappiness over the manner media reports have highlighted the death of tigers in India in 2021.

“Certain media reports have highlighted the death of tigers during the year 2021, in a manner which is a lopsided view of tiger conservation in the country,” the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in a statement released on Thursday.

The ministry's statement comes in the wake of recent tiger deaths reported in Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh.

For the period 2012 to 2021, the average tiger deaths per year in the country hover around 98, which is balanced by the annual recruitment as highlighted by this robust growth rate, the Ministry said.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority has taken several steps under the ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger to address poaching, which too, is significantly controlled as seen in the confirmed poaching and seizure cases, the Ministry further added.

As per the Ministry, due to efforts of the Government of India through the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the tiger has been taken from the brink to an assured path of recovery, which is evident in findings of the quadrennial All India Tiger Estimation conducted in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018.

These results have shown a healthy annual growth rate of tigers at 6%, which offsets natural losses and keeps tigers at the habitats carrying capacity level, in the Indian context, the Ministry informed.

The Ministry took exception to media reports which have suggested that out of 126 instances of tiger deaths, 60 tigers had died due to poachers, accidents, man-animal conflict outside protected areas.

The Ministry said media reports ignored “the process involved in ascribing tiger mortality cause”.

The Ministry said the NTCA, through a dedicated Standard Operating Procedure, has a stringent protocol to ascribe cause to a tiger death, which is treated as unnatural, unless otherwise proved by the State concerned through submission of necropsy reports, histopathological and forensic assessments besides photographs and circumstantial evidences.

It is only after a detailed analysis of these documents that the cause of death of 60 tigers outside tiger reserves can be ascertained, the Ministry added.