Distribution and habitat
The highest population of Bengal tigers is in the nature reserve of the Sundarbans, in West Bengal (India) and Bangladesh. It can also be found in Central India and North and in Burma and Nepal. The Tigers need a living space spread over which they can hunt. They mark and defend territories of varying size may exceed 100 km ² for a male. Because they are solitary animals, even a small population needs a wide area to live and hunt. A tiger has several dens within its home range and uses the one that suits him best at the moment.
Panthera tigris tigris
In 1900, the Indian tiger population was estimated between 40 000 and 50 000 individuals. Around 1972, this figure had fallen to 1 850. A protection program has been up about 4 000 in 1984.
One of the last census giving 150 of 200 on Nepal and Bhutan, 150 in Bangladesh, 200 in western Myanmar. The 2007 census gives 1 411 tigers in India.
This figure is lower than the census of 1973 at the launch of project tiger.
The Bengal tiger is solitary and nocturnal and do not share his domain with tigers and other animals. To discourage intruders, all tigers mark their territory by urinating secretions very strong signal that their presence. They can also tear the bark of trees. They cover their droppings land. They also derive the remains of prey into a thicket, hiding under the sheets and return later. [Ref. Needed]
It is equally difficult to follow his trail, as well as the Bengal tiger is of large size, it is quiet and shy nature. Thus, the Bengal tigers cover their droppings with earth and hide their prey killed in the midst of a bush. Sometimes they cover the dead leaves to make sure that no other animal can taste it in their absence. Finally, it should also be noted that the Bengal tiger is the only cat to eat a meat beginning of decomposition.
The Bengal tigers reach sexual maturity at 3-4 years for females and 4-5 years for males. They usually breed in spring. A male from a neighboring field visits to the female on the field. During this period, the female is fertile for only 3 to 7 days. After mating, the male returned immediately on its own home range and do not participate in rearing young. Approximately 15 weeks later (95 to 112 days), the tiger is the world's 2 to 4 young, sometimes more, blind during the first 10 days. The mother breastfeeds during 8 weeks and then bring them too little prey to eat.
At 6 months, she left alone in the den for days, while it hunting. Largest, she took with her. At 11 months, they can hunt alone and at 16 months, they are strong enough to tackle large prey. The young tigers are 2 or 3 years with their mother, it is ready to mate again.
Diet and hunting
The Tigers drove to the lookout at night. Although powerful and quick over short distances (50 km / h over 20 meters), they can not overtake prey such as deer which reaches 75 km / h. A tiger attacked its prey on the side or rear. It kills a small bite to the neck; large are bitten in the throat and strangled. The tiger hunt the gaur and buffalo. A gaur male weighs around 900kg: more than three times the weight of a tiger. Most often, the tiger attack old or young animals that offer less resistance. In the Sundarbans, tiger prey are axis deer, the boar, the apes and lizards. It sometimes also attacks the porcupine, but if the spines are lodged in the legs, the tiger may die.
Did you know?
- Driven by hunger, a tiger can kill the equivalent of 30 buffaloes per year.
- The roar of a tiger may cover more than 2km night.
- An adult tiger can eat 31kg of meat a night.
- The Siberian tiger weighs 100kg more than the Bengal tiger.
- Unlike other cats, tigers often eat meat early in decomposition.
- Tigers purr, but only at the expiration, while house cats purr also the inspiration.
- Approximately half of young tigers die before reaching their maturity.
- Shere Khan, the tiger of the jungle book of Rudyard Kipling, reprinted in The Jungle Book by Walt Disney, is a Bengal tiger.