Common Bengal Tiger appearance
The Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is one of the largest members of the cat family and is the most common species of Tiger. They can be identified by their coloration of yellow to reddish orange fur with dark stripes and a cream-colored underbelly. The males are normally about 3 meters long and females measure around 2.7 on average. Typical weight for an average male is around 235 kg and females are about 140 kg (Mazák, 1981).
These animals tend to live alone as they roam their habitat, and they come together to breed. There is no definite breeding period for these animals, they have been observed to reproduce at various times of the year. When females give birth, they often have a litter of about 2-4 cubs. The cubs will then stay with their mothers for about two years before going off on their own. In the wild, Bengal Tigers live on average about 8-10 years ("Bengal Tiger," 2012).
Bengal Tiger cubs
These Tigers’ diet consists of mostly large ungulates and some medium-sized other types of prey. They prefer animals like deer, antelope, and buffalo. Some of the specific species they hunt in their habitat are Chital, Sambar, Guar, wild boar, and the occasional livestock (Reddy, 2004).
The Bengal Tiger is currently listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Average estimates put the count for the amount of these tigers in the wild at about 1,850 individuals ("Bengal (Indian) Tiger," 2012). There have been multiple areas of land set aside for Tiger conservation. These are known as Tiger Conservation Landscapes (TCLs). However, even with these the Bengal Tigers are facing a serious decline in their habitat (Global Tiger Recovery Program, 2010). The figure below shows the range for these Tigers and how their habitat has been substantially decreased from where their natural range was. Currently these animals are faced with many forces acting together to reduce their numbers and threaten extinction of these Tigers. (See tab “Problems Being Faced”)
An additional feature to note of this species is the White Bengal Tiger. This animal comes from a recessive mutation in the normal Bengal Tiger genome and results in a Tiger with white fur and dark stripes (Xavier, 2010).
White Bengal Tiger