Tiger meat and bones fetch high prices
More tigers have been killed in India already this year than in the whole of 2015, a census showed on Friday, raising doubts about the country’s anti-poaching efforts.
The Wildlife Protection Society of India, a conservation charity, said 28 of the endangered beasts had been poached by April 26, three more than last year.
Tiger meat and bones are used in traditional Chinese medicine and fetch high prices.
“The stats are worrying indeed,” said Tito Joseph, programme manager at the group.
“Poaching can only be stopped when we have coordinated, intelligence-led enforcement operations, because citizens of many countries are involved in illegal wildlife trade. It’s a transnational organised crime.”
Poachers use guns, poison and even steel traps and electrocution to kill their prey.
India is home to more than half of the world’s tiger population with 2,226 in its reserves according to the last count in 2014.
The figures come after a report by the WWF and the Global Tiger Forum said the number of wild tigers in the world had increased for the first time in more than a century to an estimated 3,890.
The report cited improved conservation efforts, although its authors cautioned that the rise could be partly attributed to improved data gathering.