Latest Kerala Local News: 38 tigers, 50 leopards have died in Kerala in the past six years – Ti

KOCHI: No less than 38 tigers and 50 leopards/panthers have died in the last six years and four months in Kerala due to various causes, including entrapment, infighting, poisoning and electrocution, shows data from the Kerala Forest Department obtained by TOI under the RTI Act.

It shows that tiger deaths are increasing over the years, as seven deaths have been reported in just four months this year alone. The total number of tiger deaths reported in 2022 was six while the highest number of 10 deaths was recorded in 2020. According to the last census conducted in 2018, the state estimated only 190 tigers.
Placing grim pictures on the survival of tigers in the Wayanad landscape, the data shows that 20 out of 38 tiger deaths have been reported in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and southern divisions of Wayanad alone. It is followed by the eastern division of Periyar with nine dead. When separating the sexes, an equal number of male and female tigers died with 19 each.

Of the 50 leopard/panther deaths, one died at Thrissur Zoo and another at Konni Elephant Camp. It has been noted that the male mortality is higher than the female population. Of the 50 deaths, 29 were male and 19 female while the sex of two leopards remains unidentified.
The shocking revelations come at a time when some people with vested interests are campaigning for wildlife populations including tigers and leopards to increase and have exceeded the carrying capacity of their habitats in the state. But few studies have been done on the extent of forest degradation in Kerala over the years due to human intervention and natural factors and how it has harmed wildlife and how it leads to conflicts with humans.
Forestry officials said that given the increasing mortality of tigers, a study must be carried out to identify the reasons. They also admitted that the degradation caused to forest areas in the northern region, especially in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, was due to the presence of invasive alien plants.
This is why we count tigers in the adult stage. Around six to seven tiger deaths have been reported at the sanctuary this year so far. Most of them are less than two years old.
According to the Leopard Status Report 2018, Kerala estimated the leopard population at 650.



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