Conservationists say at least 41 tigers have died in the first seven months of this year despite awareness campaigns across India to save the big cats.

India's National Tiger Conservation Authority and the wildlife group TRAFFIC say only seven of the tigers died from natural causes, one was killed by authorities and the rest were illegally poached between January and August.

Experts say the partial death toll proves India is not doing enough to protect the endangered predators, noting 66 tigers died during all of 2014.

Of those which died naturally this year, two were killed in tiger battles, which experts say are becoming more frequent as the big cats vie for territory while their habitats shrink amid human encroachment or forest clearing for industrial projects.