Head and body length of P. tigris
ranges from 1,400 - 2,800 mm with a tail
length of 600-950 mm. Weights of males are
between 180-306 kg. and females, 100-167.
The subspecies P. tigris altaica,
found in southeastern Siberia and Manchuria,
is the largest living cat. The upperparts
and flanks are reddish orange to reddish
ochre, underparts are creamy or white. The
head, body, tail and limbs all have distinctive
stripes of black or brownish black. A rare
color variation has a whitish coat, dark
stripes and blue eyes.
tigris is found in a variety of habitats
throughout its region, requiring adequate
shelter, water and prey. Tropical rainforests,
evergreen forests, mangrove swamps, grasslands,
savannahs, and rocky terrain can all provide
these necessities for this carnivore. A
good swimmer, P. tigris has been
known to swim distances of 29 km. Although
it prefers not to climb trees it is extremely
capable of doing so and can make a vertical
leap of up to 10 m. Two or three favorite
dens are usually within the animal's territory,
in hollow trees, caves or dense vegetation.
Sight and hearing are P. tigris'
most valuable senses when hunting. After
killing its prey, P. tigris drags
it to an sheltered area or near water. The
prey will be covered with vegetation to
hide it, returning to the carcass several
times in following days for additional meals.
Larger prey animals are preferred such as
pigs, deer, antelope, buffalo and guar.
While P. tigris is an excellent hunter,
it fails 90 percent of the time it attacks,
assuring that its food source will not be
depleted. Territory is dependent on the
amount of food available. Ranges of same
gender animals do not overlap, but one male’s
range may overlap those of several females.
Animals are generally solitary with the
exceptions being mating pairs and females
with young. Vocalizations, or roaring, announce
that a tiger has made a kill and often a
group of animals in the area will share
the quarry. Roaring may also be done to
attract a mate. Other vocalizations include
purring and grunting while scratches and
scent marking with urine and feces communicate
other important messages.
Females generally give birth every 2- 2.5
yrs, sometimes waiting as many as 4 yrs
between litters. If a litter is lost, however,
another can be produced within about 5 months.
Mating can occur any time of year, but usually
takes place between November and April.
Estrous occurs every 3-9 weeks with receptivity
lasting 3-6 days. Average litter size is
2 or 3 young, but can range from 1-6 offspring.
Cubs weigh between 780-1,600 g at birth
and open their eyes after 6-14 days. They
are weaned after 3-6 months and begin traveling
with their mother at 5-6 months. Independence
usually comes at 2 years of age, sexual
maturity is attained at 3-4 years for females
and 4-5 years for males. While nearly half
of all cubs do not live past the age of
2, life expectancy for P. tigris is
about 26 yrs. both in the wild and in captivity.
Indian Subcontinent is home to more than
80% of the wild tigers in the world. Due
to its many clashes with humans, many of
which are fatal, P. tigris has been
hunted and trapped to an extent which has
it listed as endangered by the IUCN and
the USDI and it is on appendix 1 of the
is now found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia,
China, India, Indonesia (Sumatra only),
Laos, Malaysia, Burma, Nepal, Russia, Thailand