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Distribution and habitat
Ecology and behavior
Hunting and diet
Reproduction and lifecycle
Bengal Tiger Current Status
THE LOSS OF HABITAT FOR TIGERS
The Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest species.
It is also called The Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris
tigris), the national animal of India.
The Bengal tiger's coat is yellow to light orange, with
stripes ranging from dark brown to black.
The tail is orange with black rings.
It has exceptionally teeth with canines are the longest
among living felids
In zoos, tigers have lived for 20 to 26 years, which also
seems to be their longevity in the wild.
They are territorial and generally solitary but
social animals, often requiring large areas of habitat
that support their prey requirements.
Figure : Bangal tiger
Male Bengal tigers have an average total length of
270 to 310 cm (110 to 120 in) including the tail, while
females measure 240 to 265 cm (94 to 104 in) on
The average weight of males is 221.2 kg , while that of
females is 139.7 kg .
The Royal Bengal Tiger of India is justifiably called the
'King of the Jungle’ because it is is a super predator and
important member of the carnivores that once roamed
and dominated all of South East Asia.
Tigers lead solitary lives, and the courtship period, and
association between mother and cub is their only
interaction and association.
Tigers are entirely different in their hunting habits
from lions, and hence they are mutually exclusive in
Tigers rest during the day in the shade, and begin to
hunt for food at dusk.
The Bengal Tiger is also known for its mutations,
producing the gorgeous White Tigers that are kept in
captivity around the world. These are white with grey
or brown stripes.
A far less commonly known mutation of the Bengal is
the Black Tiger, this tiger’s fur is a very dark charcoal or
black in colour with light yellow or white stripes.
Binomial name Panthera tigris
Common name Bengal tiger
White tigers are not a separate species, but the result
of genetic mutation..
The Bengal tiger often walks backward into water to
keep a watchful eye on its surroundings.
Can kill a buffalo weighing nearly four times its own
Most water-loving,It will even chase prey into the
The roar of a Bengal Tiger can be heard 2 miles away.
Bengal Tigers Purr .Domestic cats purr when
breathing in as well as out, Tigers purr only when
Tigers, unlike many other cats, often eat meat that has
begun to putrefy.
A Tiger is a voracious eater. It can kill the equivalent of
30 buffalos a year, and eat 65 pounds of meat in a
Distribution and habitat
Tigers appear to have arrived in Sri Lanka about
20,000 years ago.
In 1929, the British taxonomist Pocock assumed that
tigers arrived in southern India too late to colonize Sri
Lanka, which earlier had been connected to India by
a land bridge.
Tigers inhabit tropical moist evergreen forests ,tropical
dry forests , tropical and subtropical moist forests,
mangroves, subtropical and temperate upland forests,
and alluvial grasslands
Good tiger habitats in subtropical and temperate
upland forests include the Tiger Conservation
Units (TCUs) Manas-Namdapha. TCUs in tropical dry
forest include Hazaribagh National
Park, Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve, Kanha-
Indravati corridor, Orissa dry forests, Panna National
Park,Melghat Tiger Reserve and Ratapani Tiger
The TCUs in tropical moist deciduous forest are
probably some of the most productive habitats for
tigers and their prey, and include Kaziranga-
Meghalaya, Kanha-Pench, Simlipal and Indravati Tiger
The total tiger population has been estimated at 1,411
individuals ranging from 1,165 to 1,657 adult and sub-adult
tigers of more than 1.5 years of age.
in the Shivaliks–Gangetic flood plain landscape there
are six populations with an estimated population size
of 259 to 335 individuals occupying 5,080 square
kilometers (1,960 sq mi) of forested habitats, which are
located in Rajaji and Corbett national parks.
in the Central Indian highlands there are 17
populations with an estimated population size of 437
to 661 individuals occupying 48,610 square kilometres
of forested habitats, which are located in the
landscapes of Kanha-Pench, Sanjay-Palamau.
In the Eastern Ghats landscape there is a single
population with an estimated population size of 49 to
57 individuals occupying 7,772 square kilometers
located in the Srivenkateshwara National Park.
In the Western Ghats landscape there are seven
populations with an estimated population size of 336
to 487 individuals occupying 21,435 square kilometres .
In the Brahmaputra flood plains and north-eastern
hills tigers occupy 4,230 square kilometres
(1,630 sq mi) in several patchy and fragmented forests;
In the Indian Sundarbans tigers occupy about 1,586
square kilometres (612 sq mi) of mangrove forest.
Tigers in Bangladesh are now relegated to the forests of
the Sundarbans and the Chittagong Hill Tracts .
As of 2004, population estimates in Bangladesh ranged
from 200 to 419, mostly in the Sunderbans.
From October 2005 to January 2007, the first camera-trap
survey was conducted across six sites in the Bangladesh
Sundarbans to estimate tiger population density. The
average of these six sites provided an estimate of 3.7 tigers
per 100 km2 .
The Bangladesh Sundarbans is an area of
5,770 km2 (2,230 sq mi) it was inferred that the total tiger
population comprised approximately 200 individuals.
The largest population lives in Chitwan National Park.
As of 2009, an estimated 121 breeding tigers lived in
Nepal. By 2010, the number of adult tigers had reached
Between February and June 2013, a camera trapping
survey was carried out in the Terai covering an area of
4,841 km2 (1,869 sq mi) tiger habitat. The country’s
tiger population was estimated at 163–253 breeding
adults comprising about 127 tigers in the Chitwan-
Parsa protected areas.
As of 2005, the population in Bhutan is estimated at
Tigers occur from an altitude of 200 m (660 ft) in the
subtropical Himalayan foothills in the south along the
border with India to over 3,000 m (9,800 ft) in the
temperate forests in the north, and are known from 17
of 18 districts.
Ecology and behavior
The basic social unit of the tiger is the elemental one
of mother and offspring.
Adult animals congregate only on transitory basis
when special conditions permit, such as plentiful
supply of food. Otherwise they lead solitary lives,
hunting individually for the dispersed forest and tall
They establish and maintain home ranges. Resident
adults of either sex tend to confine theirmovements to
a definite area of habitat.
Male tiger home range is about 200 km2 in summer
and 110 km2 in winter
Included in his home range were the much smaller
home ranges of two females, a tigress with cubs and a
sub-adult tigress. They occupied home ranges of
16 to 31 km2.
A male tiger keeps a large territory in order to include
the home ranges of several females within its bounds,
so that he may maintain mating rights with them.
Hunting and diet
Tigers are carnivores . They prefer hunting such
as chital , deer , gaur , and to a lesser extent
also barasingha, water buffalo, nilgai, serow and take
Among the medium-sized prey species they frequently
kill wild boar, and occasionally hog deer, muntjac
and Gray langur.
Small prey species such as porcupines, hares
and peafowl forma very small part in their diet.
They also prey on domestic livestock.
Tigers approach their victim from the side or behind
from as close a distance as possible and grasp the prey's
throat to kill it.
The nature of the tiger's hunting method and prey
availability results in a "feast or famine" .
Feeding style often consume 18–40 kilograms of meat
at one time.
Bengal tigers have been known to take other predators,
such as leopards, wolves, jackals, foxes, crocodiles.
Adult elephants and rhinoceroses are too large to be
successfully tackled by tigers.
Reproduction and lifecycle
The tiger in India has no definite mating and birth
Most young are born in December and April. Young
have also been found in March, May, October and
Males reach maturity at 4–5 years of age, and females
at 3–4 years.
A tigress comes into heat at intervals of about 3–9
weeks, and is receptive for 3–6 days.
After a gestation period of 104–106 days, 1–4 cubs are
born in a shelter situated in tall grass, thick bush or in
Newborn cubs weigh 780 to 1,600 g and they have a
thick wooly fur that is shed after 3.5–5 months.
Their eyes and ears are closed. Their milk teeth start
to erupt at about 2–3 weeks after birth, and are slowly
replaced by permanent dentition from 8.5–9.5 weeks
of age onwards.
They suckle for 3–6 months, and begin to eat small
amounts of solid food at about 2 months of age.
At this time, they follow their mother on her hunting
expeditions and begin to take part in hunting at 5–6
months of age.
At the age of 2–3 years, they slowly start to separate
from the family group
Bengal Tiger Current Status
Bengal tiger is found mainly in the Indian subcontinent,
occupying the Bengal region. A small proportion of the
total population is also seen occupying southern Nepal,
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Tibet and western Myanmar.
the status of the Indian Bengal tiger in 1995 was estimated
to be around 3,250 to 4,700, throughout the Asian
'Project Tiger' was undertaken, in order to improve the
dismal situation. In the year 1989 by the officials of Project
Tiger and Wildlife Institute of India, It revealed that the
number of tigers had increased to approximately 4,334.
As per the present status of the Indian Bengal Tiger, the
population of the species is around 3,000 to 3,500.
Over the past century tiger numbers have fallen
dramatically, with a decreasing population trend.
None of the Tiger Conservation Landscapes within the
Bengal tiger range is large enough to support an
effective population size of 250 individuals.
Habitat losses and the extremely large-scale
incidences of hunting are serious threats to the
Following are the factor which reduce tiger
(a) THE LOSS OF HABITAT FOR TIGERS
In order to live in the wild, tigers need water to drink,
animals to hunt, and vegetation in which to hide.
As the mountains, jungles, forests, and long grasses
that have long been home to tigers disappear.
Agricultural expansion, timber cutting, new roads,
human settlement, industrial expansion and
hydroelectric dams push tigers into smaller and
smaller areas of land.
These forest fragments are surrounded by rapidly
growing and relatively poor human populations,
including increasing numbers of illegal hunters.
Without wilderness, the wild tiger will not survive.
Asia's explosive population growth demands that more
and more land be converted to agriculture.
In India, where about 60 per cent of the world's wild
tigers still roam, the human population has grown by
50 percent in the past 20 years.
Destroy forest that inhabit by tigers.
As tigers compete with humans and industry for land,
they find less and less to eat.
Local people hunt the same prey as tigers do, pressing
tigers to resort to domestic animals and, on rarer
occasions, even humans.
Threatened villagers often poison, shoot, or snare the
The most significant immediate threat to the existence
of wild tiger populations is the illegal trade in poached
skins and body parts between India, Nepal and China .
Buyers choose the skins from dealers or tanneries and
smuggle them through a complex interlinking network
to markets outside India, mainly in China.
Their skins and body parts may however become a part
of the illegal trade.
The demand for bones and body parts from wild tigers
for use in Traditional Chinese medicine is the reason
for the unrelenting poaching pressure on tigers on the
The region affording habitat where tigers have
achieved their highest densities is also one which has
housed one of the most concentrated and rapidly
expanding human populations.
At the beginning of the 19th century tigers were so
numerous it seemed to be a question as to whether
man or tiger would survive.
. It became the official policy to encourage the killing
of tigers as rapidly as possible, rewards being paid for
their destruction in many localities.
In the Sundarbans, 10 out of 13 man-eaters tiger
recorded in the 1970s were males.
Tigers in the Sunderbans presumably attacked
humans who entered their territories in search of
wood, honey or fish, thus causing them to defend their
In December 2012, a tiger was shot by the Kerala Forest
Department on a coffee plantation on the fringes of
the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. Chief Wildlife
Warden of Kerala ordered the hunt for the animal after
mass protests erupted as the tiger had been carrying
An area of special interest lies in Landscape in
the Himalayan foothills of northern India and
southern Nepal, where 11 protected areas comprising
dry forest foothills and tall-grass savannas harbor
tigers in a 49,000 square kilometres landscape.
The approach has been successful in reducing
poaching, restoring habitats, and creating a local
constituency for conservation.
WWF form a global campaign, Save Tigers Now, with
the goal of building political, financial and public
support to double the wild tiger population by
2022.Save Tigers Now started its campaign in 12
different WWF Tiger priority landscapes, since May
Main article: Project Tiger
In 1972, Project Tiger was launched aiming at ensuring
a viable population of tigers in the country and
preserving areas of biological importance .
The selection of areas for the reserves represented as
close as possible the diversity of ecosystems across the
tiger's distribution in the country.
Funds and commitment were mustered to support the
intensive program of habitat protection and
rehabilitation under the project.
More than 1100 tigers were estimated to inhabit the
reserves by 1984.
The Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 enables
government agencies to take strict measures so as to
ensure the conservation of the Bengal tigers.
Because of dwindling tiger numbers, the Indian
government has pledged US$153 million to further
fund the Project Tiger initiative, set-up a Tiger
Protection Force to combat poachers.
In January 2008, the Government of India launched a
dedicated anti-poaching force composed of experts
from Indian police, forest officials and various other
Wild Team is working with local communities and the
Bangladesh Forest Department to reduce human-tiger
conflict in the Bangladesh Sundarbans.
Wild Team has also set up 49 volunteer Village
Response Teams that are trained to save tigers that
have strayed into the village areas and would be
Wild Team also works to empower local communities
to access the government funds for compensating the
loss/injury of livestock and people from the conflict.
The government aims at doubling the country's tiger
population by 2022.
In May 2010, decided to establish Banke National Park
with a protected area of 550 square kilometres , which
bears good potential for tiger habitat.
Bengal tigers have been captive bred and widely
crossed with other tiger subspecies.
Indian zoos have bred tigers for the first time being at
the Alipore Zoo in Kolkata.
The 1997 International Tiger Studbook lists the
global captive population of Bengal tigers at 210
individuals that are all kept in Indian zoos, except for
one female in North America.