Panthera tigris tigris - Indian tiger or Bengal tiger

Panthera tigris tigris - Indian tiger or Bengal tiger

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Note 2































Panthera tigris



Panthera tigris tigris

Common name

: Bengal tiger or Indian tiger


  • Body length: about 3 m of which about 90 cm the tail
  • Height at the withers(1): 90-95 cm
  • Weight: 140 - 265 kg
  • Lifespan: up to 18 years in the wild (there have been cases up to 20 years); up to 26 years in captivity
  • Sexual maturity: female 3-4 years; male 4-5 years


The Indian tiger (or Bengal tiger) is an animal that is found throughout India but the largest groups are located in Bangladesh, Bengal and some specimens are widespread in Nepal, Bhutan, China and Burma.

There are no real ideal habitats for this animal as it lives quietly both in the cold Himalayan forests and in the warm and marshy areas even if it prefers places where there is dense vegetation as it loves to ambush its prey even if it could chase her victims run smoothly, even in water or in trees, being both an excellent swimmer and an excellent climber.


The Bengal tiger is a solitary animal and this is probably due to the fact that it is an animal that needs a lot of space available to hunt in fact each specimen needs about 70 km2 of territory so that it often overlaps that of several females. .

This vast territory is justified by the hunting technique as it makes real stalking: first it stalks the prey in secret, keeping downwind so as not to be heard, then when it gets close to the prey it attacks and kills it.

The longest relationship of social life is that between the mother and her young which can last up to three years of the life of the offspring.


The Bengal tiger is considered the predator par excellence as it can easily capture prey twice its weight. It is a mighty animal, characterized by a short and thick neck, broad shoulders and massive legs.

Its coat is that typical of tigers, of an intense orange color with black stripes to blend into the bush.

He has six times the vision of humans, including night vision.

It is an animal with a very fine hearing and has the particularity of having the back part of the ears white, characteristic which seems to allow it to recognize the different specimens in the dark.

The teeth of the Bengal tiger are characterized by long canines, 7.5 to 10 cm long which are used to kill the prey while the molars are used to cut meat.

The claws of the legs are used to grab prey, to climb trees and to scratch the bark to mark the territory.


The bengal tiger communicates with each other in different ways: through smell, visual cues and sounds.

To delimit the territory, the Bengal tiger scratches the bark of the trees and then sprays the urine (together with an odorous liquid) which is used to send very clear messages to the other tigers indicating the sex, size, social status and also ( if it is urine of a female specimen) if they are available for mating.

Indian tigers are animals that can also communicate vocally with roars, grunts, growls, moans and hisses. Each sound has its own purpose and seems to reflect both what the tiger wants to do or is about to do and his state of mind. For example, the roar is usually a sign of dominance, which tells other individuals how powerful he / she is and how great his / her social standing is.


The Bengal tiger is a hunter born to such an extent that it can hunt and prevail over prey twice its own weight. It especially loves to hunt at night, a period in which its favorite prey (ungulates) are more active, even if there are no precise rules on this. It hunts by ambushing its prey, getting as close as possible without being heard. He rarely chases them in long runs.

The small prey kills them by biting the back of the neck thus breaking the spinal cord while the larger ones grab them by the throat, crushing the trachea and then killing them by suffocation.

After killing his prey which are usually deer, buffalo, pigs, monkeys, he drags them aside to eat them calmly. Usually the first parts that the Bengal tiger eats are the hindquarters, as nothing is left out in fact it also eats the hair.

It can eat up to 30 kg of meat at one time and when full, it hides the prey with leaves to return the next day until it has completely devoured it, even if it is rotting.


Sexual maturity is reached in the female of the Indian tiger around 3-4 years while in the male around 4-5 years.

The period in which the Bengal tiger mates is in spring, when the female goes into heat for about 3-7 days. After mating, the male remains with the female for a few more days after which he leaves and does not raise the children whose task is entrusted exclusively to the females.

The gestation lasts about 15 weeks and from two to four puppies can be born that at birth and up to 6-14 days are blind and depend in all respects on the mother. The young are suckled for about six months even if the mother when they have about two months of age, it begins to bring them small preys.After six months (after weaning) the young begin to accompany the mother in the hunt to learn all the techniques and around 18 months they are able to hunt alone.

They stay with the mother until the age of one and a half - three years.


Adult Indian tigers are animals that have no natural enemies except for humans. Tiger cubs are often hunted by adult male tiger specimens.


The Indian tiger is classified in the IUNC Red list among animals at very high risk of extinction ENDANGERED (EN): in fact it has been estimated (2008 data) that the total population in the world is about 2500 specimens.

The main threat to this unsurpassed animal is man who increasingly reduces its natural habitat and food sources.


The Indian tiger is very important in the ecosystem for controlling the population of large herbivores.

From an economic point of view it is an animal that represents a great resource for zoos and natural areas, as an important economic resource (ecotourism).

Poaching is unfortunately still widespread as its fur is considered valuable for making tapestries and carpets.


Among the felines, the Bengal tiger is the one who loves water the most, being among other things an excellent swimmer.

Traditional Chinese medicine used parts of the animal's body to prepare alternative medicines for example to become strong and ferocious like a tiger.

To hear the noises emitted by this animal, go to the article: The sounds made by the tiger.


  1. Withers: region of the body of the quadrupeds between the upper edge of the neck and the back and above the shoulders, in practice the highest area of ​​the animal's body;
  2. original photograph courtesy of courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Panthera tigris virgata

El lost tiger or Caspian tiger (Panthera tigris virgata) es una subespecie de tigre que se ha considerado extinta during décadas hasta que recientes estudios genéticos han puesto de manifiesto que en realidad este tigre y el tigre Siberiano (Panthera tigris altaica) son la misma subespecie y su distribución era continuous hasta hace aproximadamente doscientos años, when the acción del ser humano provoked the fragmentación de la misma y finally la extincción de this subespecie en la mayor parte de su área. [2] Su área de distribución original abarcaba la península de Anatolia, el Cáucaso (Georgia, Armenia y Azerbaiyán) with citas históricas bastante al norte del Gran Cáucaso, en la Rusia Europea y Ucrania, [3] el Kurdistán, norte de Iraq and Irán, Afganistán and most of Central Asia hasta Mongolia and ahí hasta the far east of Siberia where ya consider them as a Siberian tiger. Esta subespecie es por tanto la que con un major rank de distribución de todas las conocidas, también was the que más hacia el este se extendía y la only que llegó a estar present en Europe sigue siendo equally la que más al este se distribuye. Es además la de mayor tamaño, follower of the Bengal tiger. Due a que el tigre del Caspian was described as subspecie con anterioridad to the Siberian tiger, el nombre científico correcto para esta subespecie, que incluye a ambos tigres, es Panthera tigris virgata de acuerdo a las normas de nomenclatura científicas, quedando P. t. Altaica como synonym. [4] In 2017 an equipo de investigadores pertenecientes a la UICN publicaron a nueva classification taxonómica de la familia felidae en la que solo reconocían dos subespecies de tigres: El tigre de Asia continental (Panthera tigris tigris) el cual agrupa al tigre de bengal, Siberian, de indochina, sur de China, malayo así como los extintos tigres del Caspio y los tigres de la spacé (Panthera tigris pallaica) that citrus fruit with the Sumatran tiger is like a deserted tiger in Java and Bali, this evaluation is based on an extensive review of public reports on the morphology of the tiger and on filogeography. [5]


  • 1 Taxonomy
    • 1.1 Genetic ancestry
  • 2 Characteristics
    • 2.1 Body weight
    • 2.2 Records
  • 3 Distribution and habitat
    • 3.1 India
    • 3.2 Bangladesh
    • 3.3 Nepal
    • 3.4 Bhutan
  • 4 Ecology and behavior
    • 4.1 Hunting and diet
    • 4.2 Reproduction and lifecycle
  • 5 Threats
    • 5.1 Poaching
    • 5.2 Human – tiger conflict
  • 6 Conservation efforts
    • 6.1 In India
    • 6.2 In captivity
    • 6.3 In Bangladesh
    • 6.4 In Nepal
    • 6.5 "Re-wilding" project in South Africa
  • 7 In cultures
    • 7.1 In arts
    • 7.2 In sports
    • 7.3 Notable individuals
    • 7.4 Tiger versus lion
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
  • 10 Further reading
  • 11 External links

Felis tigris was the scientific name used by Carl Linnaeus in 1758 for the tiger. [15] It was subordinated to the genus Panthera by Reginald Innes Pocock in 1929. Bengal is the traditional type locality of the species and the nominate subspecies Panthera tigris tigris. [16]

The validity of several tiger subspecies in continental Asia was questioned in 1999. Morphologically, tigers from different regions vary little, and gene flow between populations in those regions is considered to have been possible during the Pleistocene. Therefore, it was proposed to recognize only two subspecies as valid, namely P. t. tigris in mainland Asia, and P. t. probe in the Greater Sunda Islands and possibly in Sundaland. [17] The nominate subspecies P. t. tigris constitutes two clades: the northern clade comprises the Siberian and Caspian tiger populations, and the southern clade all remaining continental tiger populations. [18] The extinct and living tiger populations in continental Asia have been subsumed to P. t. tigris since the revision of felid taxonomy in 2017. [3]

Results of a genetic analysis of 32 tiger samples indicate that the Bengal tiger samples grouped into a different monophyletic clade than the Siberian tiger samples. [19]

Genetic ancestry

The Bengal tiger is defined by three distinct mitochondrial nucleotide sites and 12 unique microsatellite alleles. The pattern of genetic variation in the Bengal tiger corresponds to the premise that it arrived in India approximately 12,000 years ago. [20] This is consistent with the lack of tiger fossils from the Indian subcontinent prior to the late Pleistocene, and the absence of tigers from Sri Lanka, which was separated from the subcontinent by rising sea levels in the early Holocene. [9]

The Bengal tiger's coat is yellow to light orange, with stripes ranging from dark brown to black the belly and the interior parts of the limbs are white, and the tail is orange with black rings. The white tiger is a recessive mutant of the tiger, which is reported in the wild from time to time in Assam, Bengal, Bihar, and especially from the former State of Rewa. However, it is not to be mistaken as an occurrence of albinism. In fact, there is only one fully authenticated case of a true albino tiger, and none of black tigers, with the possible exception of one dead specimen examined in Chittagong in 1846. [21]

Males and females have an average total length of 270 to 310 cm (110 to 120 in) and 240 to 265 cm (94 to 104 in) respectively, including a tail of 85 to 110 cm (33 to 43 in) long. [2] [22] They typically range 90 to 110 cm (35 to 43 in) in height at the shoulders. [22] The standard weight of males ranges from 175 to 260 kg (386 to 573 lb), while that of the females ranges from 100 to 160 kg (220 to 350 lb). [2] [22] The smallest recorded weights for Bengal tigers are from the Bangladesh Sundarbans, where adult females are 75 to 80 kg (165 to 176 lb). [23]

The tiger has exceptionally stout teeth. Its canines are 7.5 to 10 cm (3.0 to 3.9 in) long and thus the longest among all cats. [24] The greatest length of its skull is 332 to 376 mm (13.1 to 14.8 in). [17]

Body weight

Bengal tigers weigh up to 325 kg (717 lb), and reach a head and body length of 320 cm (130 in). [24] Several scientists indicated that adult male Bengal tigers from the Terai in Nepal and Bhutan, and Assam, Uttarakhand and West Bengal in north India consistently attain more than 227 kg (500 lb) of body weight. Seven adult males captured in Chitwan National Park in the early 1970s had an average weight of 235 kg (518 lb) ranging from 200 to 261 kg (441 to 575 lb), and that of the females was 140 kg (310 lb) ranging from 116 to 164 kg (256 to 362 lb). [25] Thus, the Bengal tiger rivals the Siberian tiger in average weight. [26] In addition, the record for the greatest length of a tiger skull was an "over the bone" length of 16.25 in (413 mm) this tiger was shot in the vicinity of Nagina in northern India. [27]

Three tigresses from the Bangladesh Sundarbans had a mean weight of 76.7 kg (169 lb). The oldest female weighed 75 kg (165 lb) and was in a relatively poor condition at the time of capture. Their skulls and body weights were distinct from those of tigers in other habitats, indicating that they may have adapted to the unique conditions of the mangrove habitat. Their small sizes are probably due to a combination of intense intraspecific competition and small size of prey available to tigers in the Sundarbans, compared to the larger deer and other prey available to tigers in other parts. [28]


Two tigers shot in Kumaon District and near Oude at the end of the 19th century allegedly measured more than 12 ft (366 cm). But at the time, sportsmen had not yet adopted a standard system of measurement some measured 'between the pegs' while others measured 'over the curves'. [29] The very large tiger on display at Leeds City Museum, shot in 1860 near Mussoorie, Uttarakhand by Colonel Charles Reid, is recorded as being 12 ft 2 in (370cm) at death (shrinking to 11 ft 6 in (350cm) after "curing"). Its skin was exhibited in the 1862 International Exhibition in South Kensington, London. [30]

In the beginning of the 20th century, a male tiger was shot in central India with a head and body length of 221 cm (87 in) between pegs, a chest girth of 150 cm (59 in), a shoulder height of 109 cm ( 43 in) and a tail length of 81 cm (32 in), which was perhaps bitten off by a rival male. This specimen could not be weighed, but it was calculated to weigh no less than 272 kg (600 lb). [31] A male weighing 259 kg (570 lb) was shot in northern India in the 1930s. [27] In 1980 and 1984, scientists captured and tagged two male tigers in Chitwan National Park that weighed more than 270 kg (595 lb). [32] The heaviest wild tiger was possibly a huge male killed in 1967 at the foothills of the Himalayas. It weighed 388.7 kg (857 lb) after eating a buffalo calf, and measured 323 cm (127 in) in total length between pegs, and 338 cm (133 in) over curves. Without eating the calf beforehand, it would have likely weighed at least 324.3 kilograms (715 lb). This specimen is on exhibition in the Mammals Hall of the Smithsonian Institution. [33]

In 1982, a sub-fossil right middle phalanx was found in a prehistoric midden near Kuruwita in Sri Lanka, which is dated to about 16,500 ybp and tentatively considered to be of a tiger. Tigers appear to have arrived in Sri Lanka during a pluvial period, during which sea levels were depressed, evidently prior to the last glacial maximum about 20,000 years ago. [34] The tiger probably arrived too late in southern India to colonise Sri Lanka, which earlier had been connected to India by a land bridge. [16]

Results of a phylogeographic study using 134 samples from tigers across the global range suggest that the historical northeastern distribution limit of the Bengal tiger is the region in the Chittagong Hills and Brahmaputra River basin, bordering the historical range of the Indochinese tiger. [9] [35] In the Indian subcontinent, tigers inhabit tropical moist evergreen forests, tropical dry forests, tropical and subtropical moist deciduous forests, mangroves, subtropical and temperate upland forests, and alluvial grasslands. Latter habitat once covered a huge swath of grassland, riverine and moist semi-deciduous forests along the major river system of the Gangetic and Brahmaputra plains, but has now been largely converted to agricultural land or severely degraded. Today, the best examples of this habitat type are limited to a few blocks at the base of the outer foothills of the Himalayas including the Tiger Conservation Units (TCUs) Rajaji-Corbett, Bardia-Banke, and the transboundary TCUs Chitwan-Parsa-Valmiki, Dudhwa-Kailali and Shuklaphanta-Kishanpur. Tiger densities in these TCUs are high, in part because of the extraordinary biomass of ungulate prey. [36]

The tigers in the Sundarbans in India and Bangladesh are the only ones in the world inhabiting mangrove forests. [4] The population in the Indian Sundarbans was estimated as 86-90 individuals in 2018. [5]


In the 20th century, Indian censuses of wild tigers relied on the individual identification of footprints known as pug marks - a method that has been criticized as deficient and inaccurate. Camera traps are now being used in many sites. [37]

Good tiger habitats in subtropical and temperate forests include the Tiger Conservation Units (TCUs) Manas-Namdapha. TCUs in tropical dry forest include Hazaribag Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve, Kanha-Indravati corridor, Orissa dry forests, Panna National Park, Melghat Tiger Reserve and Ratapani Tiger Reserve. 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 Reserves. The TCUs in tropical moist evergreen forests represent the less common tiger habitats, being largely limited to the upland areas and wetter parts of the Western Ghats, and include the tiger reserves of Periyar, Kalakad-Mundathurai, Bandipur and Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary. [36]

During a tiger census in 2008, camera trap and sign surveys using GIS were employed to estimate site-specific densities of tiger, co-predators and prey. Based on the result of these surveys, the total tiger population was 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. Across India, six landscape complexes were surveyed that host tigers and have the potential to be connected. These landscapes comprise the following: [38]

  • in the Sivaliks – Gangetic flood plain landscape there are six populations with an estimated population size of 259 to 335 individuals in an area of ​​5,080 km 2 (1,960 sq mi) of forested habitats, which are located in Rajaji and Corbett National Parks, in the connected habitats of Dudhwa-Kheri-Pilibhit, in Suhelwa Tiger Reserve, in Sohagi Barwa Sanctuary and in Valmiki National Park
  • in the Central Indian highlands there are 17 populations with an estimated population size of 437 to 661 individuals in an area of ​​48,610 km 2 (18,770 sq mi) of forested habitats, which are located in the landscapes of Kanha-Pench, Satpura-Melghat, Sanjay-Palamau, Navegaon-Indravati isolated populations are supported in the tiger reserves of Bandhavgarh, Tadoba, Simlipal and the national parks of Panna, Ranthambore – Kuno – Palpur – Madhav and Saranda
  • in the Eastern Ghats landscape there is a single population with an estimated population size of 49 to 57 individuals in a 7,772 km 2 (3,001 sq mi) habitat in three separate forest blocks located in the Srivenkateshwara National Park, Nagarjunasagar Tiger Reserve and the adjacent proposed Gundla Brahmeshwara National Park, and forest patches in the tehsils of Kanigiri, Badvel, Udayagiri and Giddalur
  • in the Western Ghats landscape there are seven populations with an estimated population size of 336 to 487 individuals in a forested area of ​​21,435 km 2 (8,276 sq mi) in three major landscape units Periyar-Kalakad-Mundathurai, Bandipur-Parambikulam-Sathyamangalam-Mudumalai -Anamalai-Mukurthi and Anshi-Kudremukh-Dandeli
  • in the Brahmaputra flood plains and northeastern hills tigers live in an area of ​​4,230 km 2 (1,630 sq mi) in several patchy and fragmented forests
  • in the Sundarbans National Park tigers live in about 1,586 km 2 (612 sq mi) of mangrove forest.

Ranthambore National Park hosts India's westernmost tiger population. [39] The Dangs' Forest in southeastern Gujarat is potential tiger habitat. [4]

As of 2014, the Indian tiger population was estimated to range over an area of ​​89,164 km 2 (34,426 sq mi) and number 2,226 adult and subadult tigers older than one year. About 585 tigers were present in the Western Ghats, where Radhanagari and Sahyadri Tiger Reserves were newly established. The largest population resided in Corbett Tiger Reserve with about 215 tigers. The Central Indian tiger population is fragmented and depends on wildlife corridors that facilitate connectivity between protected areas. [40]

In May 2018, a tiger was recorded in Sahyadri Tiger Reserve for the first time in eight years. [41] In February 2019, a tiger was sighted in Gujarat's Lunavada area in Mahisagar district, and found dead shortly afterwards. [42] [43] Officials assumed that it originated in Ratapani Tiger Reserve and traveled about 300 km (190 mi) over two years. It probably died of starvation. In May 2019, camera traps recorded tigers in Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary and Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, the first records in Goa since 2013. [44] [45]


Tigers in Bangladesh are now relegated to the forests of the Sundarbans and the Chittagong Hill Tracts. [46] The Chittagong forest is contiguous with tiger habitat in India and Myanmar, but the tiger population is of unknown status. [47]

As of 2004, population estimates in Bangladesh ranged from 200 to 419 individuals, most of them in the Sundarbans. [46] This region is the only mangrove habitat in this bioregion, where tigers survive, swimming between islands in the delta to hunt prey. [36] Bangladesh's Forest Department is raising mangrove plantations supplying forage for spotted deer. Since 2001, afforestation has continued on a small scale in newly accreted lands and islands of the Sundarbans. [48] ​​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 km 2 (39 sq mi). Since the Bangladesh Sundarbans is an area of ​​5,770 km 2 (2,230 sq mi) it was inferred that the total tiger population comprised approximately 200 individuals. [49] In another study, home ranges of adult female tigers were recorded comprising between 12 and 14 km 2 (4.6 and 5.4 sq mi), which would indicate an approximate carrying capacity of 150 adult females. [23] [50] The small home range of adult female tigers (and consequent high density of tigers) in this habitat type relative to other areas may be related to both the high density of prey and the small size of the Sundarban tigers. [23]

Since 2007 tiger monitoring surveys have been carried out every year by WildTeam in the Bangladesh Sundarbans to monitor changes in the Bangladesh tiger population and assess the effectiveness of conservation actions. This survey measures changes in the frequency of tiger track sets along the sides of tidal waterways as an index of relative tiger abundance across the Sundarbans landscape. [51]

By 2009, the tiger population in the Bangladesh Sundarbans was estimated as 100–150 adult females or 335–500 tigers overall. Female home ranges, recorded using Global Positioning System collars, were some of the smallest recorded for tigers, indicating that the Bangladesh Sundarbans could have one of the highest densities and largest populations of tigers anywhere in the world. They are isolated from the next tiger population by a distance of up to 300 km (190 mi). Information is lacking on many aspects of Sundarbans tiger ecology, including relative abundance, population status, spatial dynamics, habitat selection, life history characteristics, taxonomy, genetics, and disease. There is also no monitoring program in place to track changes in the tiger population over time, and therefore no way of measuring the response of the population to conservation activities or threats. Most studies have focused on the tiger-human conflict in the area, but two studies in the Sundarbans East Wildlife sanctuary documented habitat-use patterns of tigers, and abundances of tiger prey, and another study investigated tiger parasite load. Some major threats to tigers have been identified. The tigers living in the Sundarbans are threatened by habitat destruction, prey depletion, highly aggressive and rampant intraspecific competition, tiger-human conflict, and direct tiger loss. [28] By 2017, this population was estimated at 84–158 individuals. [52] A rising sea-level due to climate change is projected to cause a severe loss of suitable habitat for this population in the following decades, around 50% by 2050 and 100% by 2070. [53]


The tiger population in the Terai of Nepal is split into three isolated subpopulations that are separated by cultivation and densely settled habitat. The largest population lives in Chitwan National Park and in the adjacent Parsa National Park encompassing an area of ​​2,543 km 2 (982 sq mi) of prime lowland forest. To the west, the Chitwan population is isolated from the one in Bardia National Park and adjacent unprotected habitat farther west, extending to within 15 km (9.3 mi) of the Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, which harbors the smallest population. [54]

From February to June 2013, a camera trapping survey was carried out in the Terai Arc Landscape, across an area of ​​4,841 km 2 (1,869 sq mi) in 14 districts. The country's tiger population was estimated at 163–235 breeding adults comprising 102–152 tigers in the Chitwan-Parsa protected areas, 48–62 in Bardia-Banke National Parks and 13–21 in Shuklaphanta National Park. [55] Between November 2017 and April 2018, the third nationwide survey for tiger and prey was conducted in the Terai Arc Landscape the country's population was estimated at 220–274 tigers. [6]


In Bhutan, tigers have been documented in 17 of 18 districts. They inhabit the subtropical Himalayan foothills at an elevation of 200 m (660 ft) in the south to over 3,000 m (9,800 ft) in the temperate forests in the north. Their stronghold appears to be the country's central belt between the Mo River in the west and the Kulong River in the east ranging in elevation from 2,000 to 3,500 m (6,600 to 11,500 ft). [56] Royal Manas and Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Parks form the largest contiguous tiger conservation area in Bhutan representing subtropical to alpine habitat types. [57] In 2010, camera traps recorded a tiger pair at elevations of 3,000 to 4,100 m (9,800 to 13,500 ft). As of 2015, the tiger population in Bhutan was estimated at 89 to 124 individuals in a survey area of ​​28,225 km 2 (10,898 sq mi). [58]

In 2008, a tiger was recorded at an elevation of 4,200 m (13,800 ft) in Jigme Dorji National Park, which is the highest altitudinal record of a tiger known to date. [59] In 2017, a tiger was recorded for the time in Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary. It probably used a wildlife corridor to reach northeastern Bhutan. [60]

Biology [edit | edit wikitext]

The Bengal tiger is a solitary animal that hunts mainly during the night hours and does not like to share its territory with other tigers or other animals. To discourage intruders, all tigers mark their territory with urine, which contains highly smelling secretions that signal their presence. Another method they employ is to tear apart the bark of trees with their claws.

It is difficult to follow the tracks of a Bengal tiger because, despite its imposing size, this feline is discreet and shy in nature. The animal usually covers its excrements with earth and often drags the remains of its prey into the bushes. Sometimes he even covers them with dead leaves to make sure no one else can take advantage of them in his absence. During the day it manages to blend into the thick grass of the elephants, a plant belonging to the genus Miscanthus typical of the living environment of this feline and which can reach a height of almost 10 meters.

Tigers kill their prey by crushing it to the ground and breaking its spine (preferred method for small to medium sized prey), or by strangling it with a powerful bite to the neck (preferred method for medium to large sized prey). The killed animal is then dragged to a safe place where it is consumed [9]. Sometimes they hunt by ambushing near the watering holes and also capturing swimming animals. La tigre del Bengala può consumare fino a 18 kg di carne a pasto e poi rimanere senza mangiare per giorni [9] .

Come tutte le tigri è un predatore e si nutre normalmente di mammiferi di taglia medio-grande, come conigli, bufali d'acqua, cervi pomellati, capre, cinghiali, gaur e sambar. È però noto anche cibarsi di giovani elefanti e piccoli di rinoceronte. Generalmente le tigri non attaccano individui adulti di elefante o di rinoceronte, ma questo tipo di predazione può verificarsi, come documentato dall'organizzazione WWF che si è presa cura di un orfano di rinoceronte la cui madre era stata uccisa da una tigre. Prede possibili ma non comuni nella dieta di una tigre del Bengala sono il leopardo, il lupo, i coccodrilli e il cane rosso dell'India. Occasionalmente cattura pavoni e, nonostante le sue poderose dimensioni, può arrampicarsi sugli alberi per cacciare primati. Bisogna sapere inoltre che la tigre del Bengala è il solo felino che si nutre di carne che ha già cominciato a decomporsi [9] .

Le differenze tra la specie

All’apparenza micioni identici, in realtà anche a causa dell’adattamento ambientale, hanno profonde differenze.

E’ bene precisare che, purtroppo, solite cause ormai tristemente note, hanno portato a sensibili cambiamenti nella morfologia di questi felini pertanto il peso è una di quelle caratteristiche fisiche che ha risentito maggiormente del problema. Raro trovare, adesso, esemplari maschi del peso di oltre 300 Kg.

Tuttavia, le dimensioni maggiori della Tigre siberiana sono dovute soprattutto all’habitat in cui vive. A differenza della cugina bengalese, può sopportare temperature fino a -40° C grazie alla struttura del corpo che essendo più grande riesce a dissipare maggiormente il freddo e a trattenere il calore.

Per quanto riguarda la dieta troviamo molte similitudini essendo i due, ovviamente, carnivori. Le differenze, se così possiamo definirle, riguardano le prede, diverse in base all’habitat di appartenenza. Rimane il fatto che la tecnica di caccia è pressoché identica. Entrambe, cinture nere di mimetismo e silenziosità, attaccano furtivamente le prede uccidendole con un morso letale. Nel caso di grandi prede, dopo averle atterrate, le soffocano con un morso alla gola.

Le stupende “pennellate” disegnate sui loro mantelli sono quanto di più bello vi possa essere in Natura al pari di ogni altro “tatuaggio” felino. Sempre per questioni ambientali, il pelo della siberiana è molto più folto.

Cicle de vida i estructura social [ modifica ]

Com tots els tigres, són animals solitaris i generalment fugen de la companyia en grups, llevat de les femelles, que viatgen amb les seves criatures en grups de tres o quatre. Els mascles cuiden un terreny on alberguen diverses femelles que seran les quals tindran la seva ventrada i així assoliran passar la seva descendència. Els mascles i les femelles solament s'ajunten durant l'època de reproducció. La majoria de les criatures neixen entre febrer i maig, i després d'una gestació d'entre 98 i 108 dies, parin una ventrada d'1 a 6 cadells (normalment de 2 a 4) d'1,1 kg de pes. L'esperança de vida pels tigres de Bengala mascles és d'entre 10 i 12 anys, mentre que en les femelles és un poc més llarg no obstant això, els exemplars en captivitat poden arribar a viure fins a 30 anys. Els experts van descobrir recentment que aproximadament el 25% dels tigres mascles del parc nacional de Kanha moren en lluites amb animals de la seva espècie.

Aspectes culturals [ modifica ]

El tigre té gran importància a la cultura xinesa, on a part de ser el símbol d'un dels seus símbols del zodíac, és un ingredient de gran part de medicaments de la medicina tradicional i dels afrodisíacs. Simbolitza la reialesa, [19] assumint el paper del lleó a Occident.

També existeixen tigres cèlebres a la ficció, com Shere Khan, l'enemic d'El llibre de la selva Tigger, el company de Winnie the Pooh Tony, l'emblema dels cereals Frosties de Kelloggs Hobbes, al còmic de Calvin i Hobbes o Hodori, mascota dels Jocs Olímpics de 1988. Tots aquests tigres estan antropomorfitzats, però també poden aparèixer com a personatges secundaris actuant com a tigres reals, com al llibre Història de Pi, de Yann Martel.

Video: Royal Bengal tiger Panthera tigris tigris