Page 1 of 11
The Bengal tiger or Royal Bengal tiger or Indian Tiger or White tiger which is the national animal of India is a large flesh-eating
Feline with the generic name Panthera Tigris Tigris. It is a tiger subspecies with the Kingdom - Animala and falls under the class Mammalia. Panthera literally means "yellowish animal", or "whitish-yellow".
Bengal tiger is the largest cat that falls under the family- Felidae.The other subspecies are Panthera tigris corbetti (Indochinese tiger), Panthera tigris jacksoni (Malayan tiger), Panthera tigris sumatrae (sumatran tiger),
Panther tigris altaica (Siberian tiger), Panthera tigris amoyensis (South china tiger). Bengal tiger has been classified as an 'Endangered Species' by IUCN. Panthera tigris has a yellow-brown coat with black stripes on a white background, lengthy tail, large paws and fearful teeth.
Tigers hunt or eat a variety of prey right from termites to the elephant calves. They prefer hunting chital, sambar, gaur, and to a lesser degree of barasingha, water buffalo, nilgai, serow and takin.Tigers depend on their sense of vision and hearing rather than on scent of olfactory nerves when hunting the prey. They carefully hunt their prey from the back in order to get as close as possible to their unsuspicious prey and slowly they take down their prey with a ferocious bite to the neck or throat. Tigers eat up to 20 to 40 kg in other words 40 to 88 pounds of meat at one time. Furthermore, the research says that every tiger hunts and eat about 20 to 50 deer-sized animals one per week in a year.
Page 2 of 11
The ferocious Royal Bengal Tiger can be found in large numbers in the following Wildlife National Parks:
1. Bandhavgarh National Park Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the popular national park started in the year 1968 with an area of 105 kms in India located in Madhya pradesh.
This park has a large biodiversity and is said to have the highest known population of tigers in India.
Bandhavgarh is the home for various famous solo tigers. The first male tiger since 1990 in the said park has an amazing habit of charging the elephants and the tourists without harming anyone, hence it is named as 'Charger'.
Another female tiger known as Sita is found to be living in the park for long years which has been recently covered by National Geographic channel. Hence it is said that most of the tigers that live in Bandhavgarh now are the descendants of the Charger and Sita.
Another worrisome incident was in the life of another female tiger named Mohini, which became prominent following Sita's death. She gave birth to two cubs, which was isolated from her mother Sita following a vehicle accident. Sita later died of her terrible wounds. After several unfortunate ends both Charger and Sita had died and their descendants have been made the king of the forest.
2. Kanha National park Kanha National park located in Mandla, Madhya Pradesh is a famous tiger reserve and a national park with an area of 1,067 kms. The park has a significant population of Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard, bear and Indian wild dog.
4. Sariska Tiger Reserve Sariska Tiger Reserve is a national park in India located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. The park is situated 107 km from Jaipur and 200 km from Delhi. This area was a hunting reserve and it was declared a wildlife reserve in 1955. In 1978, the park was given the rank of a Tiger Reserve making it a part of India's Project Tiger system. The current area of the park is 866 kms.
5. Sundarbans National Park is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve located in the Sundarbans delta in the Indian state of West Bengal.
Page 3 of 11
6. Jim Corbett National Park: was named after conservationist Jim Corbett who played a major role in the establishment of the oldest national park in India.
The park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park. Situated in Uttarakhand , the park acts as a protected area for the critically endangered species-the Bengal tiger of India. Corbett National Park is India's first national park which comprises 520.8 km2 area of hills and mountains. Every year more than 70,000 animal watchers come to the park from India and other countries get the glimpse of their favorite animal, the tiger.
Even though a tiger is capable of killing a bull gaur more than twice its size, it prefers to hit a young or old animal that fights less. In the Sundarbans of India, the tiger's prey are chital (axis deer), wild boar, and monkeys. Tigers rarely attack porcupines.
Page 4 of 11
The Bengal Tiger or the Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is the most common subspecies of tiger and
is found primarily in India and Bangladesh It lives in varied habitats: grasslands, subtropical and tropical rainforests, scrub forests, wet and dry deciduous forests, and mangroves.
Males in the wild usually weigh 205 to 227 kg (450 to 500 lb), while the average female will weigh about 141 kg. However, the northern Indian and the Nepalese Bengal tigers are somewhat bulkier than those found in the south of the Indian Subcontinent, with males averaging around 235 kilograms (520 lb).
Page 5 of 11
Siberian Tiger (Panthera Tigris altaica), also known as the Amur, Manchurian, Altaic, Korean or North China tiger, which is the northernmost subspecies,
The largest subspecies of tiger, it has a head and body length of 160–180 cm (63-71 in) for females and 190–230+ cm (75-91 in) for males, plus a tail of about 60–110 cm long (about 270–30 cm in total length) and an average weight of around 227 kilograms (500 lb) for males.
The Amur tiger is also noted for its thick coat, distinguished by a paler golden hue and fewer stripes.
South China Tigers
tigers were sighted. In 2007 a farmer spotted a tiger and handed in photographs to the authorities as proof. The photographs in question, however, were later exposed as fake, copied from a Chinese calendar and digitally altered, and the "sighting" turned into a massive scandal.
South China Tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis), also known as the Amoy or Xiamen tiger, is the most critically endangered subspecies of tiger and is listed as one of the 10 most endangered animals in the world. One of the smaller tiger subspecies, the length of the South China tiger ranges from 2.2–2.6 m (87–100 in) for both males and females. Males weigh between 127 and 177 kg (280 and 390 lb) while females weigh between 100 and 118 kg (220 and 260 lb).
Mating behaviorThe mating behavior of Bengal tiger is quite interesting, a few days before the female Bengal tiger enters the periodic state of sexual excitement (estrus) as an animal behavior it does scent-mark her choice more frequently with a distinctive smelling urine which acts as a signal for the male Bengal tiger to understand that the female is ready to mate. The distinctive odor is secreted by specific urinary gland. In addition to scent-mark the female tries to attract the male by roar and/or moan and use to vocalize may times a day.
Page 6 of 11
When the male nears the mate-ready female he may or may not respond to the female tiger's roar and the couple begins their courtship by rotating each other and roaring.
Out of shy female may try to move away from the male but the male quickly follow the female. Finally, the couple rub their bodies against each other and coitus occurs.
Coitus is very short and is repeated often for five to six days. As a result of this mating the female tigers release an egg for fertilization (induced ovulation). To assure fertilization of egg and to stimulate ovulation it requires several days of mating behavior.
The Bengal tigress delivers or gives birth to one to four cubs after 15 weeks. She breast feeds or suckles them for around seven to eight weeks; slowly she trains the cubs to eat prey that she hunts. At the eleventh month, the cub starts the hunt by its own. The cubs stay with their mother for two to three years, after this duration they are ready to mate again.
Physical structure:Physical characteristics or structure of the Bengal tiger:
1. The adult male Royal Bengal tiger weigh up to 200 to 220kg and measure about 2.8 to 2.9 m in length. The adult female Royal Bengal tigress weighs up to 130 to 140kg and measure about 2.4 to 2.5 m in length
2. The front legs of the tiger are shorter than their hind legs. This feature helps the tiger to jump forward at a distance of 10 meters (32.5 ft).
3. The tiger's front leg bones are strong and dense enough in order to make the take down of large prey easily feasible.
4. The tiger's feet bones are tightly padded or linked by ligaments which help them to defense from the impact of landing from running, pouncing and jumping.
Page 7 of 11
5. The claws of the Bengal tiger are up to 4 inches or 10 centimeter in length and are used to clutch onto prey.
The paw has four claws and one distinct claw named "dewclaw".
Dewclaw is is situated beyond the foot which acts a thumb and enables the tiger to grab prey and be supportive while climbing.
6. The skull of the Bengal tiger is hard, strong and rounded in shape which helps to support their potentate jaws.
7. Tigers have only 30 teeth unlike other carnivores.
8. Tigers have the largest canine teeth measuring about 6.4 to 7.6 centimeters and this teeth with the rear teeth called 'Carnassials' act as a knife blade that enable the tiger to cut the prey.
9. The tail of the tiger measures about one meter in length and it intelligently uses the tail for balancing when getting into pointed turns while chasing the prey.
10. Tigers has two types of hair, they are 'guard hair' and 'under fur'.
As the name suggest the 'Guard hair' is mainly used for protection purpose which is found to be longer and long-lasting.
The under fur is mainly used to keep the tiger warm.
11. The tigers have variant stripes all over their body. The striping is of two type: single-loop striping and double-loop striping.
The pattern of the stripe at the tiger's head looks like the Chinese character called "Wang" which literally means "king".
12. The tigers are identified and tracked by wildlife officials using their paw print or pugmark which is found unique among every one.
Page 8 of 11
Population and Statistics:There were totally eight tiger subspecies at the earlier times, but three out of eight have become extinct during the twentieth century.
Over the last hundred years, poaching and deforestation have reduced the population of tiger from hundreds of thousands to perhaps lesser than 2,500. In addition to this, tigers are hunted mainly for their skin and used in Chinese medicinal purpose.
Consequently, the population of Bengal tiger or Royal Bengal tiger has been drastically fallen down in India to 1,411 very much lower than the estimated count of 3,700.
Tiger Population in the world:The survey conducted by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimated that India has the largest population of the tiger with the numbers ranging from 1,165 to 1,657 against the world tiger population of about 3,062 to 5,066. The World Wide Fund for Nature has submitted an estimate saying that the world tiger population would reach around 3,200. On contrary, the exact count of the tiger population is left unknown.
Page 9 of 11
Census of tiger:Most of the people don't know about how the tiger population is being calculated and here is the answer.
As like humans, tigers are also calculated by taking census, the count is conducted by India's National Tiger Conservation Authority with key nongovernmental partners in the largest tiger population survey.
|Country||Start range||End range|
Tiger Conservation efforts in India:Even though, the Tigers are found all around the world, India is said to be the home of the largest number of
tigers and hence the Tiger is rightly called as the 'National animal of India'
The Indian Tigers/Bengal tigers are found in various places across India. As per the survey conducted by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) 1,400 of 3,500 tigers are found only in India.
A major combined and planned conservation effort, addressed as Project Tiger, has been initiated and is in progress since 1973, initially driven by Indira Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of Indiaa. The basic accomplishment has been the foundation of over 25 highly monitored tiger reserves in reclaimed land where trespassers are highly prohibited. The program has been a success by tripling the number of wild Bengal tigers with the number of 1,200 in 1973 to around 3,500 in the 1990's. However, a tiger census survey initiated in 2007, and the report published on Feb 12, 2008, gave an estimate that the wild tiger population in India reduced by 60% to around 1,411. It is pointed in the report that the decline in tiger population can be mapped directly to poaching.
Consequently after the release of the report, the Indian government pledged a fund of about $153 million against the Project Tiger initiative to set up a Tiger Protection Force to contend the poachers, and initiated to relocate a village with the population of about 200,000 to lesser the interaction between the humans and the tigers.
Page 10 of 11
In addition to this, the government has setup eight new tiger reserves in India.
Indian officials initiated a project to relocate the tigers into the Sariska tiger Reserve.
Indian Officials have cited a major success against poachers in Ranthambore National park. As a result of the various steps taken by the Indian government officials, the census in 2011 found the tiger population to have increased to 1,706 in India.
At the later stage, steps are taken to ensure that the tigers live in the world forever which is so called as 'Tigers Forever', A collaboration between the Wildlife Conservation Society and Panthera Corporation to serve as both a science-based action plan and a business model. The initial site of Tigers Forever was the world's largest tiger reserve, the Hukaung Valley in Myanmar with the area of 21,756 kms, the Western Ghats in India , Thailand's Huai Khai Khaeng-Thung Yai protected areas, and other sites in Laos PDR, Cambodia, the Russian Far East and China covering approximately 260,000 km2 of highest tiger habitat.
Mythology:The Indian tiger is said to be the "Guardian of the jungle", the one who is the vehicle for the Mother Goddess Durga. He is proficient of invoking Indra, the god of Thunder and Rain and thereby controls the drought. He is capable of protecting, guarding and killing others if he thinks someone doesn't adhere or break the laws of his jungle. The Royal Bengal tiger is recognized as a sign of strength, power, speed and agility. He is in fact viewed as 'Officer of God', guarding the young people, curing the sick and grueling the offender. Other personification of the Mother Goddess Durga, is depicted as riding a tiger.
Goddess Durga took an avatar to the earth as a joint force of all the Gods, to fight against the evil power of the demon, Mahishasur. Obviously, the joint powers of all the Gods, Durga has chosen the right vehicle for her freight. In the coastline of Southern India, people have the tradition of Tiger dance inorder to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna on Janmashtami. The people paint themselves with the black and yellow stripes trying to look like a tiger. They conduct a contest for the tiger dance and prizes are distributed.
vAs elsewhere it is the mixture of awe for the power of the Tiger and the symbolic magic with which it is invested that determines the relationship between man and Tiger in many parts of India. In one part of northern Bengal the Tiger God is worshipped by both Hindus and Muslims. Tiger is mostly associated with Hindu's religion and spiritual legacy; there are numerous stories about tiger associating with Hindu Gods.
It is also said that there is a mix of fear for the power of the Tiger and the representative supernatural with which it is empowered that determines the connection between man and Tiger in various parts of India.
Page 11 of 11
Threats to Bengal tigers:Poaching of tiger is the major cause for the brink in the extinction of tigers.
The poachers do an illegal trade of the poached skins and thereby causing threat to the existence of the wild tigers. Even though the government has taken steps to stop poaching still it is taken as a low priority to be implemented. On the contrary, there are highly trained group of professional poachers, who shift from one place to another and set camp in various areas with the intention to gain money by reducing the population of the tigers.
Since the Indian tigers have good medicinal ability, the poaching pressure on the tigers is also high. The Tiger bones have been an ingredient in traditional medicines that are reviewed as the one which strengthens the muscle and prescribed as a muscle strengthener and good heal for rheumatism and body pain.
Tiger in National emblem
Tiger in MonumentsTiger cave or Yali Mandapam, is a cave temple that has carved heads of Yali which resembles the head of tiger and is the main monument complex located in Chennai. It was built as an open-air thearte during the period of Pallavas where various culturals were conducted. This precious monument is controlled and well maintained by the Archeological Society of India(ASI).
Interesting Facts about the Bengal Tiger
- The People of Roman let tigers and lions fight each other for the entertainment - The tigers always win.
- Tigers are good swimmers.
- Tigers walk on their toes.
- A tiger can leap forward up to 33 feet at a time.
- Every single tiger in the world has its own distinct pattern of stripes.