A record number of tigers died in India over the most recent census period, a total of 274 deceased in the past four years.
Only 82 of those tigers died because of natural causes, while more than 70% of tiger deaths were due to poaching or for undetermined reasons, Indian science-and-environment magazine Down to Earth reports.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar released the figures in response to a question in the Parliament on Nov. 26.
India had approximately 1,706 tigers, according to the 2010 census. The overall population of tigers may not suffer when India’s official tiger-population census for 2014 gets released next month.
“Here, we are not taking tiger births into account,” said S.P. Yadav, deputy inspector general with the National Tiger Conservation Authority. “An adult tigress can give birth to younger ones every 90 days. If, of four-five litters that a tigress gives birth to, even one-two survive, these numbers can be compensated.”