Showing posts from July, 2010

Sariska Tiger Reserve

The news at 23rd July 2010 is that the Sariska Tiger Reserve has imported one tiger, a male. I presume that he came from another reserve (can the other reserve afford the loss?). The confusing thing for me is that earlier news declared that all the tigers in Sariska had been poached! There were none left - see Indian Bengal Tiger Reserves . So one new tiger wouldn't do much good in terms of breeding. If the earlier news was wrong it was probable that there were few tigers left and I would have thought that this latest exercise is doomed to failure. I am sorry if I am being too negative. The Sariska reserve is very small as well. This calls into question if it can sustain a tiger population on the grounds of range size alone. Source:

The Reason Why Tigers Die in Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh is a state in India. I think the word "state" is the correct one. It has been reported in the Hindu Times (July 20, 2010) that of the 24 tigers that died in this state in various reserves over a three year period, most were killed in territorial disputes. Is that an expected number? Two died in road traffic accidents. It makes you think. What if the reserves are too small. What if the reserves are too small for the home ranges of the tigers that live in a reserve. Wouldn't this force young tigers who are seeking a home range of their own? This would lead to more territorial fights and deaths. Just a thought. I believe that a number if not all the Indian tiger reserves are too small and as a consequence the Bengal tiger is doomed in India. View Larger Map

About the tiger

Prepared in October 2009 - things change, which is why it is dated. The tiger is probably the world's best known and admired wild animal. We admire its courage and strength but we fear it. Our fear has jeopardized its survival because we kill it and/or eat it. Can we change? Yes, if as a living animal we benefit sufficiently from it commercially . That would seem to be the only way for us. We cannot, it seems at present, cohabit with it. Its appearance is dramatic to the point where we wonder how it can be beneficial in terms of camouflage. In a forest during twilight hours it is wonderfully effective. This is an introductory page that binds various posts that I have made about the tiger, to which I have linked. It is also comprehensive in its own right. There are about 3,200 tigers in the wild 16 . There are 9 subspecies of tiger 1 possibly 8, three of which are extinct and the remainder are endangered. Some experts say that all tigers originate from the South China ti


2. SBI Brainstormer 3.3. Feline Conservation Federation magazine vol 53 issue 3 - Robert M Johnson 4. Creative Commons license: Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic 5. Wikipedia® 6. 7. Wild Cats Of The World - Sunquists - 2002 8. 9. Published under a Creative Commons license Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic 10. PoC Blog 11. Corbett 13. Save The Tiger Fund - Setting Priorities For the Conservation and Recovery of Wild Tigers 2005-2015 14. Woodroffe and Ginsberg 1998 15. Your Dictionary 16. WWF

Tiger Development

The development of the tiger 7 is about a timetable. Things happen at a certain time. Accordingly, I have set out this section in a table for ease of reference. Male tigers have a tough time of it. Where there is a good prey base the tigress is likely to be pregnant or have young to feed as is therefore unavailable. A tigress will scent mark to draw in a male tiger for mating. More than one can arrive resulting in potential conflict. During estrus the tigress will call more and roll and rub and behave provocatively and aggressively. She will spit at the male and strike him. The male is passive as his objective is to mate not fight. The tigress softens and lets the male advance. She kisses him with a gentle bite. After copulation during which the male bites the scruff of the female's neck to protect himself she boxes him but there is less aggression if she knows him. Tigers mate in a very similar way to the domestic cat. See Cats Mating and Lions Mating (new window). Cats a

Tiger Ecology, Behavior and Social Organisation

Bengal tigers like to spend the heat of the day in water to dissipate their body heat. Image in the public domain. The tiger is adaptable in terms of habitat and climate. The tiger is very athletic. It can climb well when needed and swim exceptionally well (by human standards) when required (2 miles in sea water - see Lion vs Tiger ). What they need is water and large prey (ungulates - hooved animals) to survive. The best prey base in Asia is where there is a mosaic of forest and grassland 7 . The environment that suites the tiger also suites the leopard and the wild dog (dholes).  Tiger Attacked and Killed by Dogs. Image: Public domain. A pack of wild dogs can kill a tiger 7 . But the tiger can dispatch a leopard at will. The leopard steers clear of the tiger, accordingly, despite sharing the habitat with it. Where there is a reasonable tiger population the leopard population is reduced. In Siberia it is outgunned by the bear. Sambar deer. Image: public domain. The scope of

Tiger Distribution

I have created several pages on the ranges of the tiger and indeed all the wildcats so I won't go into great detail here but refer to those pages. Suffice to say that the range of the tiger has been on a continual downward path for about a century and a crisis point has been reached it seems. The tiger can no longer be forced into small reserves without further decline in population size. The tiger range is now so fragmented it is almost impossible to draw it. The Caspian tiger was not a subspecies and is extinct while the South China tiger as mentioned is all but extinct living in China (Fujian, Guangdong, Hunan, Jiangxi). The distribution of the other tigers is as follows. Bengal tiger is now more or less confined to reserves (but it is said that 60+% of Bengal tigers live outside reserves 7 - is this true in 2009?) of which most are in India (1400 tigers). But reserves are not protecting the tiger from being poached. The map below shows where the Bengal tigers are in India

Tiger Status in the Wild and Captivity

As mentioned in the introduction, three subspecies are extinct - Bali, Javan, Caspian. This topic is all about conflict with humans and persecution by humans. In fact all the treats to the wildcats whatever the size or location are related to conflict and persecution with and by humans indirectly or indirectly and in one form or another. For decades the poachers have been better organised and motivated than the gamekeepers (the conservationists). And that state of affairs reflects the world view on the tiger at 2009. And as the tiger becomes scarcer its value rises, which makes it more desirable to kill it. Is there a tipping point? The tiger has an image as a virile and courageous hunter based on human standards. Cats also are very efficient procreators and are very althetic. They are excellent fighters. Combine all these and people admire the tiger and want a piece of it to try and take from it some of these skills and powers. And when I say take a piece of it I say eat it (tiger

Tiger Subspecies

I have mentioned them in the introduction. Their scientific names are as below. The links go to pages on the individual subspecies: Panthera tigris ssp. altaica - Siberian or Amur tiger - see Siberian tiger habitat Panthera tigris ssp. amoyensis - South China tiger Panthera tigris ssp. balica - Bali Tiger Panthera tigris ssp.corbetti - Indochinese Tiger Panthera tigris ssp. jacksoni (after Peter Jackson) (Malaysia calls the tiger: Panthera tigris malayensis after the region) - Malayan tiger Panthera tigris ssp. sondaica - Javan tiger - the most recent tiger subspecies to become extinct. People still claim to see it but are they getting mixed up with the leopard? This tiger is small. It is still feared. And if it still exists it is very unlikely to survive. Panthera tigris ssp. sumatrae - Sumatran tiger - the differences in this tiger in respect of DNA and morphology are such that it has been proposed that it should be a distinct species 1 . Panthera tigris ssp. tigri