In 2021, 126 tigers died in India; the highest toll since the country’s tiger conservation body started compiling data a decade ago.
The most recent death was recorded on Wednesday in Madhya Pradesh, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) said.
The previous highest number of deaths per year before the authority began compiling data in 2012 was in 2016, when 121 big cats perished.
India is home to around 75 per cent of the world’s tigers.
Two years ago, the Centre said the population of tigers had risen to 2,967 in 2018 from a record low of 1,411 in 2006.
This may have been partly down to the survey size, however, which used an unprecedented number of camera traps to identify individual tigers using stripe pattern recognition software.
Over the past decade the biggest cause of death was recorded by the NTCA as being “natural causes”, but many also fell victim to poachers and “human-animal conflict”.
Human encroachment on tiger habitats has increased in recent decades in India.
Nearly 225 people were killed in tiger attacks between 2014 and 2019, according to government figures.
The government has made efforts to manage the tiger population better, however, reserving 50 habitats across the country for the animals.