The Bengal Tiger or Royal Bengal Tiger is a tiger subspecies native to India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan and is classified as endangered by IUCN as the population is estimated to be less than 2,500 individuals with declining trends. Any Tiger Conservation Landscape within Bengal’s Tiger Border is not enough to support the size of 250 effective population. Bengal tigers are the largest of the tiger subspecies – with a population of 1,706 in India, 200 in Bangladesh, 155 in Nepal, and 67-81 in Bhutan. Royal Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India.
Its coat is yellow to light orange, and the stripes are dark brown and black in color; the belly is white, and the tail is white with black rings. The white tiger, a mutation of the Bengal subspecies, has dark brown or reddish-brown stripes on a white background, and some are completely white. The black background of black tigers has yellow, white or white stripes on the color.
The skin of a black tiger, recovered from smugglers, was 259 cm (102 in) and displayed at the National Natural History Museum in New Delhi. The existence of black tigers without stripes has been reported, but has not been confirmed.
Bengal tigers are defined by three different mitochondrial nucleotide sites and 12 unique microsatellite alleles. The pattern of genetic variation in the Bengal tiger corresponds to the premise that these tigers arrived in India around 12,000 years ago. This recent history of tigers in the Indian subcontinent is consistent with the scarcity of tiger fossils before the Late Pleistocene in India and the absence of tigers from Sri Lanka, which was separated from the subcontinent by rising sea levels in the early Holocene. However, a recent study of two independent fossils from Sri Lanka, which is approximately 16,500 years old, temporarily classifies them as being a tiger.
Behavior and ecology
Like lions, tigers also do not live in pride. They do not live as family units because men do not play a role in raising their children. Tigers sprinkle urine on a branch or tree leaf or bark and mark their area, which leaves behind a special odor. Tigers also spray urine to attract the opposite sex. When an external person comes in contact with the smell, he realizes that another tiger is occupied in this area. Hence, every tiger lives independently in its territory.
Male Bengal Tigers protect their territory from other tigers, often engaging in serious battles. Female tigers are less territorial: Sometimes a female will share her territory with other females. If a man enters a woman’s area, she will likely have intercourse with him if she is not already pregnant or has litter. If she is pregnant or has litter, he has no choice but to find himself a new area and another potential partner. Similarly, women entering a male field are known to have sex with her. Both males and females become independent of their mother around 18 months, after which the cubs have to establish their territories and are forced to own. The area of a male is larger than the woman’s area.
Great Bengal Tiger is National Symbolic of India
The Bengal tiger is the national symbol of India since the 25th century BCE, when it was displayed on the Pashupati seal of the Indus Valley Civilization. On the seal, the tiger, being the largest, represents the people of Yogi Shiva. The tiger was later the symbol of the Chola Empire from 300 CE to 1279 CE and is now designated as the official animal of India.
The Project Tiger initiative launched in 1972 initially reversed the population decline, the decline has resumed in recent years; India’s tiger population decreased from 3,642 in the 1990s to just over 1,400 from 2002 to 2008. Since then, the Indian government has undertaken several steps to reduce the destruction of the Bengal tiger’s natural habitat in India.
In the past, Indian census of wild tigers relied on the individual identification of footprints known as pug marks — a method that has been criticized as inaccurate. Using modern camera trap counting methods, the landmark 2008 national tiger census report estimates only 1,411 adult tigers in India, plus uncensured tigers in the Sundarbans delta mangrove forests.
In May 2008, Forest Officers in 14 Rivers of Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan saw 14 Tigers. In June 2008, a tiger from Ranthambore was transferred to the Sariska Tiger Reserve, where since 2005 all tigers fell prey to poaching and human encroachment.
As of June 2009, tigers are found in 37 tiger sanctuaries spread across 17 Indian states.