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15 tigers die of poaching in India in 2009

As many as 59 tigers have died in India in 2009, of which 15 were killed by poachers, the Rajya Sabha was told today.


Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said in written replies to questions raised by members that the total of 59 included the seizure of seven tiger skins.


He said that, apart from those killed by poachers, the other tigers died due to various factors such as old age, disease, accidents and internecine fights.


Of the 15 tigers killed in poaching incidents, three were in Madhya Pradesh, two each in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra and one each in Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Delhi and Goa.


Mr Ramesh said that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) had reported that poaching was a major cause for the local extinction of tigers in the Panna Tiger Reserve. He said the SIT report had been sent to the State Government for taking ecological and adminitrative measures.


He said many initiatives were under implementation by the Union Government for the protection of tigers and other wild animals.


The Minister said a Monitoring Committee was set up by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NCTA) in September, 2008 for overseeing the village relocation process to suggest monitoring benchmarks. The committee was also asked to provide inputs for eco-tourism to benefit fringe dwelles outside the core/critical tiger habitats, and people relocated from such areas.


Mr Ramesh said that, as per the findings of the the all India tiger estimation in 2008 using refined methodology, the total country-level population of tigers was 1411 (mid-value). The lower and upper limits were 1165 and 1657, respectively, he added.


NNN

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