Famous As : Great Indian Tiger
Also Known As : Bengal Tigers
Famous Tiger Hubs : Corbett National
Park, Ranthambore National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park
Best Time To Visit : Early Morinings
and Before Sun Set
Famous Tiger Lodges : Dhikala Forest
Lodge, Bharatpur Forest Lodge, Kabini River Lodge
Tiger is not only the National Animal of India, it is the very essence
of Indian wildlife. But poaching and too much killing have threatened
its very existence of this magnificent animal, Tiger.
Introduction to Indian Tigers
Tigers are the largest living members of the cat family and
commonly weigh up to 500-600 pounds and reach a length of 9-10 feet,
excluding the tail. The outer look of the tiger usually has reddish
yellow or reddish brown coat with black stripes, ventrally it is white
giving it a royal look. Its ears are black on the outside and each of
them has a prominent white spot on it.
On rare occasions, Indian tigers are born with pure white fur and
black stripes. Indian tigers have different colored eyes ranging from
blue to the usual brown.
Tigers live alone and aggressively scent-mark large territories to keep
their rivals away. They are powerful nocturnal hunters that travel many
miles to find buffalo, deer, wild pigs, and other large mammals. Tigers
use their distinctive coats as camouflage (no two have exactly the same
stripes). They lie in wait and creep close enough to attack their
victims with a quick spring and a fatal pounce. A hungry tiger can eat
as much as 60 pounds (27 kilograms) in one night, though they usually
Despite their fearsome reputation,
most tigers avoid humans; however, a few do become dangerous maneaters.
These animals are often sick and unable to hunt normally, or living in
an area where their traditional prey has vanished.
Indian Tigers are very rugged and can survive in a variety of
environmental situations, ranging from dry and arid to high-altitude,
cold and Himalayan regions. In India, the animal is found in the
mangrove forest of Sunderbans, the wet and evergreen northeast India,
the hot and arid jungles of Rajasthan and the swampy reedlands of the
Tigers hunt on their own and usually lead a solitary existence,
each in its own territory. It is also the largest land-living mammal
whose diet consists entirely of meat. As per the food chain cycle, tiger
can eat a variety of animals such as deer, antelopes, gaurs and wild
pigs, sometimes it also captures birds, lizards, turtles, fishes, frogs
and crabs, but no one can have tiger as their food.
Tiger can preserve their prey for next meal by covering it with
leaves and grass. Tiger's agile and lithesome body helps in hunting at
an amazing rate. They are endowed with good swimming power but seldom
Each tiger selects his own territory according to the power he
possesses. Male tiger has a larger dominion than a female tiger and the
area of female tiger is usually within the range of male tiger. The
primary resource of this territory is food. A female's territory must
contain enough prey to support herself and her cubs.
In their natural environment, Tigers usually live up to 15
years.If they are kept in a secured environment like zoo, then they can
live around 20 years.
Reproduction and Breeding
A male and female tiger meets only briefly. Their is no such
reproduction period or season for tigers, mating can occur at any time,
but the most preferred season is autumn and winter i.e., between
November and April.
Once the mating process is over, there is no meeting between the male
and female tiger. The gestation period usually lasts for three and a
half months. The female tiger gives birth to two to three cubs in a
secluded place like thick bush, cave etc.
It is the responsibility of the female tiger to nurse the cubs until
they are on their own. A cub takes around six months to grow and the
next 18 months become independent. The chance of the survival of cubs
depends upon the fulfillment of the basic necessities such as food and
other habitat requirements. Female cubs, when fully grown may establish
a territory adjacent to that of their mother, or even take over part of
their mother's territory. Adult females generally produce a litter every
the Tiger Reserves in India
Palamau Tiger Reserve
Buxar Tiger Reserve
Palamu Tiger Reserve
Pench Tiger Reserve
Melghat Tiger Reserve
Similipal Tiger Reserve
Dudwa National Park
Royal Bengal Tiger
Males : 8.8 feet-10.2 fee, Females : 7 .11 feet - 8.7
Males : 419-569 pounds, Females : 221-353 pounds
Shoulder height : 36 in.
Sexual maturity : 3-4 years.
Mating : Usually in spring.
Gestation : 95-112 days.
Litter size : 2-4 cubs.
Habit : Solitary and nocturnal.
Diet : Consists of pigs, deer, antelopes and buffalo, Chital,
wild boar, monkeys, gaur, buffalo.
Call : Roar, growl, or purr.
Lifespan : 15 years under normal conditions.
Latin name : Panthera tigris
Bengal Tiger attracts tourists from all over the world. Bengal Tiger
is the largest in the cat family. The skin of these Tigers have
black stripes which gives it a royal look. These Tigers generally
found in White. The scientific name of the Tiger is Panthera Tigris.
Bengal Tiger is the guardian of the jungle. He can protect, he can
guard, and he can kill if he finds someone breaking the laws of the
jungle. The Bengal tiger is perceived as an icon of strength, speed and
agility from Siberia to Sumatra.
Bengal tigers live in India and are sometimes called Indian tigers. They
are the most common tiger and number about half of all wild tigers. Over
many centuries they have become an important part of Indian tradition
Habitat of Bengal Tiger
The Royal Bengal Tiger lives in varied habitats open jungles, humid
evergreen forests and mango grove swamps. In India, Bengal Tiger is
found in the mangrove forest of Sunderbans. Sunderbans are the Major
Indian Tiger Hub. In Sunderbans, the animal still enjoys reverence,
where according to an estimate though about half of the tiger population
has mauled humans. Royal Bengal Tigers hunt on their own and usually
lead a solitary existence, each in its own territory. They are also
found in other areas of India as well as some parts of Nepal and Burma.
There were at least 50,000 Bengal tigers in India alone in the
19th century, according to an estimate. We had over forty thousand
tigers in the beginning of the 20th century, but the number has
decreased considerably. For example, the authorities of the Buxa Tiger
Reserve in North Bengal estimated the number of Royal Bengal tigers in
the reserved areas as 32, as per the census in 1997, a notch above the
figure of 31, as per the 1995 census. It's estimated that less than
3,000 Bengal tigers are left in the wild today.
Tiger once the symbol of Indian wilderness, and shooting (of course with
guns from quite a safe distance) them was taken to be a symbol of
heroism. Over a few centuries, the tiger was mercilessly slaughtered by
all trying to prove their manhood. Documents show that more than 20,000
tigers were shot between 1860-1960. The actual figures no doubt
would be much more than this. But before it was too late, the government
under pressure from biologists and tiger lovers from all over the world
pressed the panic button and Project Tiger was launched in India.
After the resounding success of the Tiger Conservation Program in
India known as Project Tiger, the population of wild Tigers has
The Bengal Tiger is now strictly protected, and is the national animal
of both Bangladesh and India. The Tiger population of India has reached
about 3,500, up from 1,200 in the 1970s. In the Sundarbans, a 2004
census found the presence of about 280 Tigers on the Bangladesh side.
But from the late 80's and the early 90's the Tiger population has
suffered a setback due to Habitat destruction and the large scale
poaching of these animals for their skins and bones.
Approximate worldwide population of 4,580
Bengal Tigers is estimated in 2005.
India : 3,500 to
3,750 + 332 pure-bred Bengal Tigers in captive zoos across India
Bhutan : 50 to
China : 30 to 40
300 to 440
Nepal : 150 to
Now in 2007 there is an estimate of a
small drop in China (due to the increase of zoo-bred Chinese Tigers), 10
more in Bhutan, and a major increase of almost 50 total in the wild.
Some Miths & facts
about Bengal Tiger
The roar of a Bengal tiger can be heard 2 miles away. A
tiger is a voracious eater. It can kill the equivalent of 30 buffaloes a
year, and eat 65 pounds of meat in a night.
After killing its prey, the tiger always starts feeding from the
hindquarters first. Tigers, unlike many other cats, often eat meat that
has begun to putrefy. The Siberian tiger, a cousin of the Bengal tiger,
is the world's largest cat.
To protect the Royal Bengal Tigers, Project Tiger is a wildlife
conservation project initiated in India in 1972. It was launched on
April 1, 1973 and has become one of the most successful conservation
ventures in modern history.
The project aims at tiger conservation in specially constituted 'tiger
reserves' which are representative of various bio-geographical regions
falling within India. This project entailed the creation of nine tiger
reserves, now this number has increased.
Present organisation and aims
The management strategy of Project Tiger was to identify the
limiting factors and to mitigate them by suitable management. The
damages done to the habitat were to be rectified so as to facilitate the
recovery of eco-system to the maximum possible extent.
The overall administration of the project is monitored by a 'Steering
Committee'. The execution of the project is done by the respective State
Governments. A 'Field Director' is appointed for each reserve, who is
assisted by the field and technical personnel. The Chief Wildlife warden
in various States are responsible for the field execution. At the
Centre, a full-fledged 'Director' of the project coordinates the work
for the country.