M.Mubashar AliBs Zoology6th SemesterRoll# 1
Bengal tigerScientific classificationInteresting InformationDistribution and habitat India Bangladesh Nepal BhutanEcology and behaviorHunting and dietReproduction and lifecycle
Bengal Tiger Current StatusThreats THE LOSS OF HABITAT FOR TIGERS Population Competition Poaching Human-tiger conflictTiger conservation In India In Bangladesh In Nepal Ex situ
INTRODUCTIONThe Bengaltiger(Panthera tigris) is the largestspecies.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 withcanines are the longest among living felidsIn zoos, tigers have lived for 20 to 26 years, which also seems to be their longevity in the wild.
They are territorial and generallysolitary 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 270to310cm (110to120in) including the tail, while females measure 240to265cm (94to104in) on average.The average weight of males is 221.2kg , while that of females is 139.7kg .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 their distribution. 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 tigers fur is a very dark charcoal or black in colour with light yellow or white stripes.
Figure: white mutant tiger
Kingdom AnimaliaPhylum ChordataClass MammaliaOrder CarnivoraFamily FelidaeBinomial name Panthera tigrisCommon 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 weight.Most water-loving,It will even chase prey into the water.
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 breathing out.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 night.
Distribution and habitat
Tigers appear to have arrived in Sri Lanka about 20,000 years ago.In 1929, the British taxonomistPocock assumed that tigers arrived in southern India too late to colonizeSri Lanka, which earlier had been connected to India by aland bridge. Tigers inhabittropical moistevergreen forests ,tropical dry forests , tropical and subtropical moistforests, mangroves, subtropical and temperate upland forests, and alluvial grasslands(a)India
Good tiger habitats in subtropical and temperate upland forests include theTiger Conservation Units(TCUs)Manas-Namdapha. TCUs in tropical dry forest includeHazaribagh National Park,Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve,Kanha-Indravati corridor,Orissa dry forests,Panna National Park,Melghat Tiger ReserveandRatapani Tiger Reserve.The TCUs in tropical moist deciduous forest are probably some of the most productive habitats for tigers and their prey, and includeKaziranga-Meghalaya,Kanha-Pench,SimlipalandIndravati Tiger Reserves.
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 theShivaliksGangetic flood plainlandscape there are six populations with an estimated population size of 259 to 335 individuals occupying 5,080 square kilometers (1,960sqmi) of forested habitats, which are located in Rajaji and Corbett national parks.in theCentral Indianhighlands 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 theEastern Ghats landscape there is a single population with an estimated population size of 49 to 57 individuals occupying 7,772 square kilometers located in theSrivenkateshwara National Park.In theWestern Ghats landscape there are seven populations with an estimated population size of 336 to 487 individuals occupying 21,435 square kilometres .In theBrahmaputra flood plains and north-eastern hills tigers occupy 4,230 square kilometres (1,630sqmi) in several patchy and fragmented forests;In the IndianSundarbans tigers occupy about 1,586 square kilometres (612sqmi) of mangrove forest.
(b)BangladeshTigers in Bangladesh are now relegated to the forests of theSundarbans and theChittagong 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 firstcamera-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 100km2.The Bangladesh Sundarbans is an area of 5,770km2(2,230sqmi) it was inferred that the total tiger population comprised approximately 200 individuals.
(c)NepalThe largest population lives inChitwan National Park.As of 2009, an estimated 121 breeding tigers lived in Nepal.By 2010, the number of adult tigers had reached 155.Between February and June 2013, a camera trapping survey was carried out in the Terai covering an area of 4,841km2(1,869sqmi) tiger habitat. The countrys tiger population was estimated at 163253 breeding adults comprising about 127 tigers in the Chitwan-Parsa protected areas.
As of 2005, the population in Bhutan is estimated at 6781 individuals.Tigers occur from an altitude of 200m (660ft) in the subtropicalHimalayan foothills in the south along the border with India to over 3,000m (9,800ft) in the temperate forests in the north, and are known from 17 of 18districts. 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 grassland animalsThey establish and maintain home ranges. Resident adults of either sex tend to confine their movements to a definite area of habitat.Male tiger home range is about 200km2 in summer and 110km2 in winterIncluded 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 16to31km2.A male tiger keeps a large territory in order to include the home ranges of several females within its bounds, so that he may maintainmatingrights with them.
Hunting and diet
Tigers arecarnivores . They prefer hunting such aschital ,deer ,gaur , and to a lesser extent alsobarasingha,water buffalo,nilgai,serowandtake in.Among the medium-sized prey species they frequently killwild boar, and occasionallyhog deer,muntjac andGray langur.Small prey species such asporcupines,hares andpeafowl form a 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 1840 kilograms of meat at one time.Bengal tigers have been known to take other predators, such asleopards,wolves,jackals,foxes,crocodiles.Adultelephantsandrhinocerosesare too large to be successfully tackled by tigers. Reproduction and lifecycle
The tiger in India has no definite mating and birth seasons.Most young are born in December and April.Young have also been found in March, May, October and November .Males reach maturity at 45 years of age, and females at 34 years.A tigress comes into heat at intervals of about 39 weeks, and is receptive for 36 days.After a gestation period of 104106 days, 14 cubs are born in a shelter situated in tall grass, thick bush or in caves.Newborn cubs weigh 780to1,600g and they have a thick wooly fur that is shed after 3.55 months. Their eyes and ears are closed. Their milk teeth start to erupt at about 23 weeks after birth, and are slowly replaced by permanent dentition from 8.59.5 weeks of age onwards. They suckle for 36 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