Bhopal: India lost 64 tigers due to various reasons in 2014 with Tamil Nadu topping the chart with the maximum number of deaths, according to National Tiger Conservation Authority.
Tamil Nadu saw 15 tigers deaths followed by Madhya Pradesh, which witnessed 14 deaths, says the data on tigernet.nic.in.
MP's Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, once densely populated with tigers lost seven majestic beasts while Kanha Tiger Reserve reported four tiger deaths. Pench Tiger Reserve and , Panna Tiger Reserve lost one big cat each while as many deaths were reported from Balaghat district's forested area, it said.
The deaths might have come as a blow to MP which is trying hard to regain the tiger state status which it lost to Karnataka in the last big cats count.
According to the All India Tiger Estimation Exercise 2010, the tiger population dipped to 257 in MP from 300 in 2006. On the other hand, Karnataka beating MP became the numero uno state in tiger population with 300 counts - 10 up from the census of 2006.
This time around also, Karnataka has a reason to smile as it lost only six tigers since January 1 to December 30. Eight tiger deaths were reported from Uttarakhand, six each from Maharashtra and Assam besides Karnataka. Three each died in Bihar and Kerala followed by two in Uttar Pradesh while one death of the striped animal was reported from Andhra Pradesh, the site said.
Of the total tiger deaths, four resulted from infighting, two were shot dead by policemen and a sharpshooter, one each died of pneumonia and natural death while the causes of the rest of the deaths are being probed into, the site added.
According to the 2010 census, India had approximately 1,706 tigers. The result of the 2014 census is awaited.