According to figures with the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), a leading NGO working for wildlife enforcement, in 2013 39 tigers have died due to poaching. In 2006, the figure was 37. These are official figures. The number could well be around 51 if confessions of poachers arrested by Maharashtra officials are taken into account. The poaching figure is even higher than last year's 31 but lower than 2005 when 46 poaching cases were registered.
But the real number of tiger deaths -- including poaching and deaths from natural causes -- may be even higher. WSPI puts the number at says the number could grow to 76, while The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), puts the figure at 64. In 2010 (the most recent census released to the public, there were 1,706 tigers in India.
Tigers are often poached for their valuable hides or for their paws, which are considered to have mystical Jproperties in some cultures. Monitors see one upside to the increase in numbers: More rigorous record-keeping. Tito Joseph, program manager of WPSI, Delhi. "Another reason for the poaching cases going up was due to better detection rate. It is good that poachers are being arrested."