Madhya Pradesh is yet to constitute the Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) even as the State has registered the most number of tiger deaths due to poaching since 2012.
According to an agreement,the State Forest Department was supposed to raise,arm and deploy the force in the reserves within two years of the agreement.
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.
According to the Status of Tigers in India report,Madhya Pradesh was famous as the ‘Tiger State’ until 2006.But Madhya Pradesh lost out to Karnataka in 2010 and fell behind Uttarakhand too in 2014.
Experts have said that unlike other States which have contiguous forests,Madhya Pradesh has a patchy cover running through fragmented reserves and human habitations and therefore it’s a challenge to protect tigers and prevent man-animal conflicts here.