Having resolved to constitute a Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) more than seven years ago, Madhya Pradesh is yet to constitute the battalion, even as the State has registered the most number of tiger deaths due to poaching since 2012.
However, in the absence of an independent elite unit to protect tigers in the State, 30 deaths due to poaching have been reported between 2012 and 2018. The causes of 16 of the total 141 deaths, including natural and unnatural ones, reported in the State during the period are being investigated, according to the NTCA. This year, one case of death due to poaching has been reported of the 14 deaths in the State. Out of the 14 deaths reported in the State this year, one case was due to poaching.
Asserting that the State hasn’t failed in protecting its tigers, U. Prakasham, State Chief Wildlife Warden, said, “We have constituted a special armed unit called Tiger Strike Force that other States don’t possess. It operates in Hoshangabad, Sagar, Satna, Indore and Bhopal divisions and has been able to bring down restrict poaching.”