Tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to 3.3 meters and weighing up to 306 kg. It is the third largest land predator behind only polar bear and brown bear. Most recognizable feature of tiger is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underside. In zoo, tigers have lived for 20 to 26 years, which also seems to be their longevity in the wild. Tigers once ranged widely across Asia and most in India.
The word ‘tiger’ is retraceable to the Latin word tigris meaning a spotted tiger hound of Actaeon. The Greek word tigris is possibly derived from a Persian source.
Bengal tiger is the national animal of India, and is also called ‘The Indian tiger’. He lives in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, and is the most common subspecies with populations estimated at less than 2,500 adult individuals. In 2011 the total population of adult tigers is estimated at 1,520 – 1,909 in India. Project Tiger was founded in India aiming at ensuring a viable population of tigers in the country and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage for the people. In between 1994 and 2009, the Wildlife Protection Society of India has documented 893 cases of tigers killed in India, which is just a fraction of the actual poaching and illegal trade in tiger parts during those years. The area of special conservation interest lies in the ‘Terai Arc Landscape’ at the Himalayan foothills of northern India, where 11 protected areas comprising dry forest foothills and tall grass savannas harbor tigers in a 49,000 square km landscape. The goals are to manage tigers as a singal metapopulation, the dispersal of which between core refuges can help to maintain genetic, demographic, and ecological integrity and to ensure that species and habitat conservation becomes mainstreamed into the rural development agenda.
The Deccan thorn scrub forests are a xeric shrub land Eco region of India which is home for large numbers of tigers. This Eco region covers the arid portions of the Deccan Plateau, extending across the Indian states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. Tigers can occupy a wide range of habitat types but will usually require sufficient cover, proximity to water, and an abundance of prey. Bengal tigers live in many types of forests, including wet evergreen, the semi evergreen of Assam and eastern Bengal, swampy mangrove forest of the Ganges Delta and thorn forests of the Western Ghats. Indian officials successfully started a project to reintroduce the tigers into the Sariska Tiger Reserve. The Ranthambore National Park is often noted as a major success by the Indian officials against poaching. Tigers forever are collaboration between the Wildlife Conservation Society and Panthera Corporation to serve as both a science based action plan and a business model to ensure that tigers live in the wild forever.
Such a great beauty of Indian Tiger is beautifully experienced at any of the ‘Tiger Safari In India’.