By Dharmendra Khandal, Ishan Dhar, Sachin Rai and Meenu Dhakad

The following analysis is not to discredit the achievements of  the  Forest Department nor create sensational news, even though there is a lot of  interesting and important information for the protection of the tigers.

There were 18 tigers in 2006 forming a base population in Ranthambhore Tiger reserve. With  improved monitoring, better protection and the  involvement of  local communities in the conservation process,  tiger numbers grew from 18 to around 65 now in 2020.

Death is also an essential part of life and many of them died over a period of time under natural circumstances,recording  all deaths is not possible. Ranthambhore is not a zoo but a massive reserve and the cats are very secretive animals. Since 2006 only 2 tigers (Machhali-T-16 and Big Daddy – T-2) have attained full age and the forest department recovered their carcasses. On the other hand this became possible because both the animals were getting supplementary food during their  final stages.

The following analysis reveals many interesting facts about the 138 tigers which have come up in last 15 years from the dismal  figure of 18.

Presently there are code numbers allocated to 116 tigers ranging from T 1 to T116. There are also 14 cubs , without code numbers as of now, which makes them 130. 2 adult tigers were without  code numbers in the past anda total of 6  known cubs died during cubhood.

Records of Death:

  1. As per Tiger Watch’s analysis 26 tigers died in various circumstances.A total of 2 tigers died at the end of their lifespan and similarly a total of 11 tigers died in territorial fights. Please refer to Tables 4 and 5.
  2. 2 tigers died during the rescue or treatment operations. Please refer to Table 6.
  3. At least 5 tigers died due to poisoning . Please refer to Table 7.
  4. There are  a few tigers which died in doubtful circumstances where the Forest Department might  disagree with us. Please refer to Table 8.

Records of Missing Tigers:

  1. In the last  15 years at least 30 tigers have gone missing or are untraceable. Out of 30 tigers,  7 of them were old. Them going missing is obvious and they possibly died after reaching the end of their lifespans. The real worrying figure is  the 23 out of the 30 which were young tigers. It is also a known fact that males travel long distances  to search  for new territories but what is alarming is  that out of the 23 atleast 11 of them were females.  Accounting for almost 50 % of the total missing.
  2. Missing  young male tigers are not as much a cause of concern as missing young female tigers.
  3. On an average only 2 tigers went missing every year, which is not very high but the worrying part is this that most of them are going missing from 2 areas. We consider these areas as danger zones- 1 and 2. Table 4 shows that 60 % of  tigers have gone  missing from these two areas.

Present Situation

  1. At present we have 64 tigers in Ranthambhore Tiger reserve.  A total 6 tigers out  of the 64 are in Kailadevi  Wildlife Sanctuary or in the adjoining district Dholpur.
  2. One of them mostly lives in the Indergarh- Bundi district.
  3. Thus only 57 tigers are  in the main Ranthambhore Division. The figure also includes 15 cubs.


Discussion

  1. The  base population was 18 in the year 2005 and it grew to 138 in 2020. This means that 8 tigers have been added to the base population every year.
  2. Out of a total of 138 tigers, at least 30 tigers are missing in 15 years, so the rate of missing tigers is 2 tigers per year.
  3. Out of a total of 138 tigers at least 26 tigers (including very young cubs) have died in 15 years, therefore the death of 1.7 tigers per year.
  4. A total 18 tigers have been sent to other areas or zoos due to becoming problem animals or they naturally migrated to other areas like Kuno etc. Therefore, 1.2 tigers per year have been deducted due to the aforementioned reasons.
  5. So, 2+ 1.7+ 1.2= 4.9 or around 5 tigers per year deducted from the population, but 3 tigers are added every year to the population.   



MISSING TIGERS

TABLE 01: OLD TIGERS MISSING

S.NO. TIGERS Year of Missing
1. T6   2016
2. T9   August 2018
3. T14   2009
4. T20   2018
5. T22   2012
6. T23   2019
7. T26   2014


TABLE 02:YOUNG TIGERS MISSING

S.NO. TIGERS Year of Missing
1. T17   2013
2. T21   2010
3. T27   2009
4. T29   2010
5. T31   2013
6. T40   2010
7. T43   2013
8.. T49   2011
9. T50   2011
10. T53   2013
11. T55   2013
12. T67   2013
13. T68   2014
14. T70   2015
15. T76   2015
16. T77   2018
17. T78   2018
18. T81   August 2017, Talawada
19. T82   October, 2016, Kalakhora
20. T88   2017
21. T89   19 Jan 2017
22. T90   2016
23. Daughter of T11 and sister of T92, code number not given 2016


TABLE 03: MISSING TIGERS BY YEAR

Year No. Of missing Tigers Tiger ID
2009 2 T14, T27
2010 3 T21, T29, T40
2011 2 T49, T50
2012 1 T22
2013 6 T17, T31, T43, T53, T55, T67
2014 2 T26, T68
2015 2 T70, T76
2016 4 T6, T82, T90 , Daughter of T11 and sister of T92, code number not given
2017 3 T81, T88,T89
2018 4 T9, T20, T77, T78
2019 1 T23


TABLE 04: NATURAL DEATHS DUE TO AGE

S.No. Tiger ID Date Area
  1 T2 May 2011 Kachida
  2 T16 Aug 2016 Khem villas


TABLE 05: NATURAL DEATHS DUES TO TERRIORIAL FIGHTS

S.No. Tiger ID Date Area
  1 T4 2009 Bherda
  2 T25 Jan 2020 Chotasawta
  3 T33 Sept 2017 Khandar
  4 T36 2010 Qualji
  5 T85 Jan 2019 Khatola
  6 T87 Mar 2015 Kundaal
  7 T109 Oct 2019 Bodal area
  8 3 months old cub of t83 2018 Ama ghati
  9 3 months old cub of t83 2018 Ama Ghati
  10 1 month old cub of t84 2018 Nalghati
  11 1 month old cub of t84 2018 Nalghati


Table 6: Deaths during Rescue Operations

S.No. Tiger ID Date Area
  1 T5 Feb 2011 Kachida
  2 T28 2018 Chhan


Table 7: DEATH DUE TO POISIONING

S.No. Tiger ID Date Area
  1 T45 Mar 2010 Talda khet
  2 T46 Mar 2010 Talda khet
  3 Unknown Tigress 2012 Khandar fort
  4 T79 Cub1 Apr 2018 Kandulinadi
  5 T79 Cub2 Apr 2018 Kandulinadi


TABLE 08: DOUBTFUL DEATH AS PER DR. DHARMENDRA KHANDAL

S.No. Tiger ID Date Area
  1 T11 Apr 2016 Bhid
  2 T15 Sept 2008 Guda
  3 T35 Mar 2016 Sultanpur
  4 T37 Mar 2013 Qualji
  5 T30 Jan 2016 Khandar

TABLE 9: POACHED BY MOGYA POACHERS AS PER FOREST DEPT.

S.No. Tiger ID Date Area
  1 T32 2007 Sakhawda


TABLE 10: MOVED TO SARISKA

S.No. Tiger ID Date
  1 T1 Jul 2008
  2 T7 Mar2011
  3 T10 Jun2008
  4 T12 Jul 2010
  5 T18 Feb 2009
  6 T44 Jul 2010
  7 T51 Jan 2013
  8 T52 Jan 2013
  9 T75 Apr2019

TABLE 11: SENT TO CAPTIVITY

S.No. Tiger ID Date Area
  1 T24 2015 Udaipur
  2 T104 2019 Ranthambhore


TABLE 12: MOVED TO MUKUNDRA HILLS TIGER RESERVE, KOTA

S.No. Tiger ID Date
  T83 Apr 2019
  T91 2018
  T98 Feb 2018
  T106 Dec 2018


TABLE 13: NATURAL MIGRATION TO OTHER FORESTS

S.No. Tiger ID Date Area
  T38 2010 Kuno
  T56 2013 Datiya
  T71 2012 Madhya pradesh


Tigers Missing from the Danger Zones


S.No.
Danger Zone 1 Danger Zone 2 Other Areas Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary
 1 T6 T14 T20 T89
 2 T9 T23 T22  
 3 T27 T31 T26  
 4 T53 T49 T17  
 5 T55 T50 T29  
 6 T70 T77 T67  
 7 T76 T78 T68  
 8 T81 T43 T88  
 9 T82   T90  
10 T11 CUB   T40  
11 T21