Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Royal Bengal Tiger

Royal Bengal Tiger UPSC

The Royal Bengal Tiger, scientifically known as Panthera tigris tigris, is the national animal of both India and Bangladesh. It's one of the most iconic and majestic big cats in the world. 

It is a subspecies of tiger primarily found in India and Bangladesh, although historically their range extended into other parts of South Asia.

Bengal tigers hold significant cultural and religious importance in the regions where they are found. They are revered as symbols of power, strength, and beauty in Indian mythology, folklore, and art.

The Royal Bengal Tiger is classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Threats to their survival include habitat loss, poaching for their skins and body parts (used in traditional medicine), human-tiger conflicts, and depletion of their prey base.

Various conservation organizations, governments, and local communities are working together to conserve Bengal tigers and their habitats. Initiatives include the establishment of protected areas such as national parks and wildlife reserves, anti-poaching measures, community-based conservation projects, and efforts to mitigate human-tiger conflicts.

Royal Bengal Tiger
Royal Bengal Tiger

Table of Contents

  • Royal Bengal Tiger Characteristics
    • Classification
    • Scientific Name
    • Eight Sub-species
    • Habitat
    • Size and Weight
    • Coat Color and Stripes
    • White Spots
    • Diet
    • Behavior
    • Sensory Abilities
    • Agility and Swimming Ability
    • Reproduction
    • Lifespan
    • Cultural Significance
  • Why is it called Royal Bengal Tiger?
  • White Royal Bengal Tiger
  • Black Tiger
  • Sundarban Bengal Tiger
  • Tiger vs Royal Bengal Tiger
  • Royal Bengal Tiger vs Siberian Tiger
  • Protection Status
  • Tiger Conservation in India
  • Largest Critical Tiger Habitat
  • Royal Bengal Tiger Population
  • Tiger Census in India
  • International Initiative
  • Tiger Range Countries
  • Facts
  • Royal Bengal Tiger UPSC Questions
  • Photos

Royal Bengal Tiger Characteristics

The Royal Bengal Tiger, a subspecies of tiger, possesses several distinctive characteristics that make it unique and well-adapted to its environment. Here are some key characteristics of the Royal Bengal Tiger:

1. Classification:

The Royal Bengal Tiger is a subspecies of tiger. In the Linnaean taxonomy system, it is classified as follows:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Felidae
  • Genus: Panthera
  • Species: Panthera tigris
  • Subspecies: Panthera tigris tigris

The classification "Panthera tigris tigris" distinguishes the Royal Bengal Tiger as a specific subspecies of the tiger, Panthera tigris. Each subspecies of tiger has its own unique characteristics, distribution, and range. 

2. Scientific Name:

The scientific name of the Royal Bengal Tiger is "Panthera tigris tigris."

3. Eight Sub-species:

Historically, there were eight recognized subspecies of tigers. These subspecies differed in terms of their physical characteristics and geographic ranges. The traditional eight subspecies of tigers include:

(i) Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris):

Found primarily in the Indian subcontinent, including India and Bangladesh. This is the Royal Bengal Tiger.

(ii) Indochinese Tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti):

Inhabits regions of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

(iii) Malayan Tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni):

Occurs in the Malay Peninsula and parts of southern Thailand.

(iv) Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica):

Also known as the Amur Tiger, it inhabits the Russian Far East, northeastern China, and North Korea.

Siberian Tiger
Siberian Tiger

(v) South China Tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis):

Historically found in southern China, but it is considered critically endangered, and there may be no longer any viable wild populations.

(vi) Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae):

Indigenous to the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Sumatran Tiger
Sumatran Tiger

(vii) Javan Tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica):

Once inhabited the Indonesian island of Java but is believed to be extinct.

(viii) Caspian Tiger (Panthera tigris virgata):

Historically roamed through parts of Central Asia, including Iran, but it is considered extinct, with the last confirmed sightings dating back several decades.

4. Habitat:

The Royal Bengal Tiger is primarily found in the Indian subcontinent, including India and Bangladesh, and it is one of the most iconic and well-known tiger subspecies.

They primarily inhabit the diverse ecosystems of the Indian subcontinent, including grasslands, mangrove swamps, and mixed grassland-forests. They are adapted to various types of environments.

5. Size and Weight:

Size and Strength: Adult male Bengal Tigers are among the largest of all tiger subspecies. They can weigh between 180 to 260 kilograms and measure around 9 to 10 feet (2.7 to 3 meters) in length, not including their tail, which can add another 3 feet (1 meter). Females measure 240 to 265 cm (94 to 104 in) on average.

6. Coat Color and Stripes: 

The Royal Bengal Tiger is renowned for its striking reddish-orange coat with black or dark brown stripes. The coat helps camouflage the tiger in its natural habitat and varies slightly in shade among individuals. Each tiger has over 100 stripes on its body but no two tiger have the same stripe pattern.

7. White Spots:

Royal Bengal Tigers often have white spots on the back of their ears. These spots serve as false eyes and may help deter potential predators or threats approaching from behind.

8. Diet:

They are carnivorous predators and primarily hunt large ungulates such as deer, wild boar, and water buffalo. They are also known to prey on smaller animals when larger prey is scarce.

9. Behavior: 

Bengal Tigers are solitary and territorial animals. They establish and fiercely defend their territories, which can range from a few square miles to larger areas, depending on the availability of prey.

10. Sensory Abilities: 

Tigers have excellent senses. Their vision is adapted for low light, enabling them to hunt effectively during dawn and dusk. They also have a keen sense of hearing and an acute sense of smell.

11. Agility and Swimming Ability: 

Bengal Tigers are known for their agility and athleticism. They can leap great distances and are skilled swimmers, often traversing bodies of water to hunt or cool off.

12. Reproduction:

Female tigers, called "tigresses," typically give birth to litters of 2 to 4 cubs after a gestation period of about 3.5 months. The cubs are raised by their mother and learn important hunting and survival skills from her. A newborn cub remains completely blind for the first week of its birth.

13. Lifespan:

The average lifespan of a Royal Bengal Tiger in the wild is typically around 10 to 15 years. However, their actual lifespan can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the availability of food, competition for territory, and human-related threats.

14. Cultural Significance: 

The Royal Bengal Tiger holds cultural and religious significance in India and is the national animal of India. It appears in various mythological stories and is often seen as a symbol of strength and power.

Why is it called Royal Bengal Tiger?

The term "Royal Bengal Tiger" is derived from a historical association between the Bengal Tiger and British royalty during the British colonial period in India. The name does not reflect any inherent characteristic of the tiger itself but rather its historical connection. Here's why it is called the "Royal Bengal Tiger":

1. Royal Association: During the British colonial rule in India, tigers, particularly Bengal Tigers, were hunted by British aristocrats, including members of the royal family. The act of hunting and often killing tigers, which were considered powerful and majestic, contributed to the association with royalty.

2. Hunting Expeditions: British aristocrats and nobility, including royals, would frequently organize hunting expeditions in the Indian subcontinent. The hunting of Bengal Tigers was considered a prestigious and adventurous activity.

3. Colonial Heritage: The name "Royal Bengal Tiger" thus emerged from this colonial heritage. The term "royal" is a reference to the British royalty and nobility who engaged in tiger hunting, and "Bengal" signifies the region in India where these tigers were predominantly found.

4. Symbolic Significance: Tigers were considered symbols of power and grandeur, and by calling them "Royal Bengal Tigers," it emphasized their majestic and regal qualities.

It's important to note that this name is not based on any scientific or biological classification but rather reflects a historical and cultural connection between Bengal Tigers and British colonial-era hunting expeditions, which involved royalty and aristocracy. This association has endured as part of the historical legacy of the Bengal Tiger.

Royal Bengal Tiger
Royal Bengal Tiger

White Royal Bengal Tiger

White tigers or bleached tigers are a rare color variant of the Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), which is a subspecies of tiger. White tigers are characterized by their distinctive white coat with black or dark brown stripes. Here are some key facts about white tigers:

1. Genetic Mutation: The white coloration in white tigers is the result of a genetic mutation known as leucism. Leucism is different from albinism. While albino animals lack pigment (melanin) entirely, leucistic animals have a partial loss of pigmentation, resulting in their white color but with normal eye color.

2. Bengal Tigers: White tigers are not a separate species or subspecies; they are a color morph of the Bengal tiger. They share all the characteristics and habitat of their orange counterparts.

3. Wild White Tigers: White tigers in the wild are extremely rare. They have been reported in the wild but are thought to be almost non-existent today due to their conspicuous white coloration, which makes them more vulnerable to predators and reduces their ability to camouflage during hunting.

4. Captive Breeding: Most white tigers in existence today are the result of selective breeding in captivity. They are often bred for their unique appearance and are popular attractions in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries.

5. Conservation Concerns: White tigers are often criticized for the unethical breeding practices used to produce them, such as inbreeding to maintain the white coat. These practices can lead to various health problems and genetic issues. Critics argue that such breeding does not contribute to the conservation of the Bengal tiger species.

6. Habitat and Behavior: White tigers in captivity exhibit the same behaviors and habitat requirements as regular Bengal tigers. They are solitary, territorial animals and require large enclosures with appropriate enrichment and care.

7. Symbolism and Popularity: White tigers have gained popularity due to their striking appearance and are often used as symbols or in various forms of entertainment. They have been featured in movies, circuses, and as attractions in zoos.

White Royal Bengal Tiger
White Royal Bengal Tiger

Black Tiger

A "black tiger" is not a distinct or recognized subspecies of tiger like the Royal Bengal Tiger. Instead, the term "black tiger" is often used to describe tigers with a dark coat color variation. There are a few reasons why tigers might appear black:

1. Melanism: Black tigers are the result of a condition called melanism, where there is an excessive production of dark pigments, specifically melanin, in the animal's skin and fur. This results in a black or very dark coat. Melanism is the opposite of albinism, where animals have little to no pigment, resulting in white or pale colors.

2. Rarity: Black tigers are extremely rare, and they are not a separate subspecies. They are essentially a color variation within existing tiger populations.

3. Habitat and Geography: Reports of black tigers have been primarily from the Indian subcontinent, including India and the Southeast Asian region. However, these reports are infrequent, and the exact causes of melanism in tigers are not fully understood.

4. Conservation: Black tigers, like other tigers, are important to conserve. Melanistic individuals can face unique challenges in the wild due to their distinct coloration, which can affect their ability to camouflage during hunting.

Black Tiger
Black Tiger

Black Tiger
Black Tiger

Sundarban Bengal Tiger

The Sundarbans Bengal Tiger is a unique and specialized population of Bengal Tigers that has adapted to the challenging and distinctive environment of the Sundarbans mangrove forest. 

The Sundarbans mangrove forest region, which is located in the delta region of the Padma, Meghna, and Brahmaputra river basins in India and Bangladesh. The Sundarbans is one of the largest mangrove ecosystems in the world and provides a unique and challenging environment for these tigers. 

Here are some key characteristics and facts about the Sundarbans Bengal Tiger:

1. Habitat: The Sundarbans mangrove forest is characterized by a complex network of waterways, mudflats, and small islands. This unique habitat is home to the Sundarbans Bengal Tiger, and it is adapted to living in and around water.

2. Physical Adaptations: Sundarbans tigers often have more salt in their diets due to their proximity to saltwater. As a result, they have evolved with a higher tolerance for saltwater than other tiger populations.

3. Swimming Ability: Sundarbans tigers are known for their exceptional swimming ability. They are capable of swimming long distances between islands and are adept at hunting in water.

4. Prey: They primarily hunt a variety of prey species, including deer, wild boar, and other small mammals. Fish and crabs are also part of their diet.

5. Unique Challenges: The Sundarbans presents unique challenges for tiger conservation due to the dense and often impenetrable mangrove forest, which makes it difficult to monitor and protect the tiger population effectively.

6. Human-Tiger Conflict: The Sundarbans region is densely populated, and human-tiger conflicts are common. Tigers in this region sometimes come into contact with and pose a threat to local communities, which can lead to retaliatory killings.

Sundarban Bengal Tiger
Sundarban Bengal Tiger

Tiger vs Royal Bengal Tiger (Difference between Tiger and Royal Bengal Tiger)

A "Royal Bengal Tiger" is a specific subspecies of tiger, known scientifically as Panthera tigris tigris, and it is often used to refer to Bengal Tigers found in the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India and Bangladesh. Therefore, when comparing a "tiger" to a "Royal Bengal Tiger," you are essentially comparing a particular subspecies (Bengal Tiger) to the broader category of tigers, which encompasses multiple subspecies. Here's a comparison:

1. Taxonomy:

Tiger: The term "tiger" is a broad category that includes several subspecies, such as Bengal Tigers, Siberian Tigers, Indochinese Tigers, and others.

Royal Bengal Tiger: This is a specific subspecies within the tiger category, primarily found in the Indian subcontinent.

2. Geographic Range:

Tiger: Tigers are distributed across various parts of Asia, including India, Russia, Southeast Asia, and China, among others.

Royal Bengal Tiger: The Royal Bengal Tiger is primarily found in India and Bangladesh, with the majority of its population residing in these two countries.

3. Physical Characteristics:

Tiger: Tigers as a broad category share many physical characteristics, such as an orange coat with dark stripes. However, there can be variations in size, color, and markings among the different subspecies.

Royal Bengal Tiger: The Royal Bengal Tiger, as a subspecies, is known for its striking reddish-orange coat with dark brown or black stripes. It is one of the largest tiger subspecies.

4. Behavior and Ecology:

Tiger: General behaviors and ecological adaptations can vary among different subspecies based on their habitats and geographic locations.

Royal Bengal Tiger: The Royal Bengal Tiger, being a subspecies, exhibits behaviors and adaptations specific to its range in the Indian subcontinent, including adaptations to various ecosystems, such as grasslands, mangrove swamps, and mixed grassland-forests.

5. Conservation Status and Threats:

Tiger: Tigers, as a whole, are classified as endangered or critically endangered, with various subspecies facing threats such as habitat loss, poaching, and human-tiger conflicts.

Royal Bengal Tiger: This subspecies, like other tigers, faces similar conservation challenges, and efforts are made to protect and conserve its populations.

Royal Bengal Tiger vs Siberian Tiger (Difference between Royal Bengal Tiger vs Siberian Tiger)

Comparing the Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) to the Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) involves contrasting two distinct subspecies of tigers, each with its unique characteristics. Here's a comparison between the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Siberian Tiger:

1. Geographic Range:

Royal Bengal Tiger: Primarily found in the Indian subcontinent, including India and Bangladesh, although historically their range extended into other parts of South Asia.

Siberian Tiger: Native to the Russian Far East, northeastern China, and North Korea. It is also known as the Amur Tiger.

2. Size:

Royal Bengal Tiger: Bengal Tigers are one of the largest subspecies, with adult males weighing between 180 to 260 kilograms and measuring around 9 to 10 feet (2.7 to 3 meters) in length (excluding the tail).

Siberian Tiger: Siberian Tigers are the largest of all tiger subspecies. Adult males can weigh between 230 to 320 kilograms and measure about 10.5 to 12 feet (3.2 to 3.7 meters) in length (excluding the tail).

3. Physical Characteristics:

Royal Bengal Tiger: They have a reddish-orange coat with dark brown or black stripes, which helps them blend into their forest habitats. Bengal Tigers have a slightly lighter coloration compared to Siberian Tigers.

Siberian Tiger: Siberian Tigers have a paler coat with fewer and fainter stripes. This adaptation is thought to help them blend into the snowy landscapes of their northern habitat.

4. Habitat:

Royal Bengal Tiger: Bengal Tigers inhabit diverse ecosystems in the Indian subcontinent, including grasslands, mangrove swamps, and mixed grassland-forests.

Siberian Tiger: Siberian Tigers are adapted to the colder, northern forests of their range.

5. Conservation Status:

Royal Bengal Tiger: Listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, facing threats such as habitat loss, poaching, and human-tiger conflicts.

Siberian Tiger: Also listed as Endangered. The Siberian Tiger population is critically threatened, with a relatively small population size and specific conservation concerns related to its northern habitat.

6. Cultural Significance:

Royal Bengal Tiger: The Royal Bengal Tiger holds cultural and religious significance in India and is the national animal of the country. It is deeply woven into Indian culture and traditions.

Siberian Tiger: The Siberian Tiger is an iconic species in its own right and is celebrated for its role in the ecosystems of the Russian Far East.

In summary, the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Siberian Tiger are two distinct subspecies of tigers, each adapted to its specific habitat and environment. While both are endangered and face conservation challenges, they have unique characteristics, sizes, and geographic ranges that set them apart.

Royal Bengal Tiger Protection Status

The Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is protected by various national and international conservation laws, agreements, and initiatives. Here's an overview of its protection status:

1. Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972:

The Royal Bengal Tiger is listed under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. This classification provides the highest level of legal protection in India, making it illegal to hunt, harm, or trade in any parts or derivatives of this species.

2. IUCN Status:

Since 2010, the Royal Bengal Tiger has been classified as "endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This designation highlights the subspecies' vulnerable status in the wild and underscores the importance of conservation efforts.


The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) lists the Royal Bengal Tiger in Appendix I. This appendix includes species that are most at risk of extinction, and it prohibits international trade in their parts and derivatives.

Tiger Conservation in India

Tiger conservation in India is a significant effort to protect and preserve the Bengal tiger and its natural habitats. The Bengal tiger is found primarily in India, with smaller populations in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar.

India is home to the largest population of wild tigers in the world, with an estimated 3682 individuals as of 2022. However, the population of tigers in India has faced severe threats in recent history due to habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict. 

In response to these challenges, the government of India has implemented a number of conservation efforts, including:

1. Project Tiger:

Project Tiger is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) launched in 1973 to protect the Bengal tiger and its habitats. The program includes measures such as habitat restoration, anti-poaching efforts, and the creation of protected areas for tigers.

2. Tiger Reserves:

India has designated numerous tiger reserves across the country. These are protected areas where tigers and their habitats are the primary focus of conservation efforts. The reserves are equipped with trained staff, anti-poaching measures, and habitat management plans.

3. National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA):

It is a statutory body under the MoEFCC and was established in 2005 following the recommendations of the Tiger Task Force. It is responsible for implementing and monitoring the conservation of tigers in India. The NTCA also supervises and provides technical guidance to various state governments in their efforts to protect tigers.

4. Anti-Poaching Efforts:

Poaching is a major threat to tigers in India. The government has implemented strict laws to combat poaching and has also established anti-poaching units to patrol and protect tigers and their habitats.

5. Community-Based Conservation:

The government of India has also taken steps to involve local communities in tiger conservation efforts. Community-based conservation programs aim to reduce human-tiger conflict and provide economic benefits to local communities in exchange for their support in protecting tigers and their habitats.

6. Research and Monitoring:

Conservation organizations and government agencies conduct research and monitor tiger populations using modern techniques such as camera traps, DNA analysis, and radio collaring to track tiger movements.

7. Education and Awareness:

Raising public awareness and educating people about the importance of tiger conservation is an integral part of these efforts. School programs, public campaigns, and ecotourism initiatives help in this regard.

8. Global Initiatives:

India participates in international initiatives like the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI), which seeks to protect tigers globally. India collaborates with other tiger range countries to share knowledge and best practices.

9. Legislation and Legal Measures:

The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and CITES provide legal frameworks for the protection of tigers and the regulation of trade in tiger parts.

Largest Critical Tiger Habitat UPSC

Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve is the largest critical tiger habitat. Critical Tiger Habitats are crucial for the survival and recovery of wild tiger populations, and they play a vital role in tiger conservation efforts in India. 

Critical Tiger Habitat (CTH):

1. A Critical Tiger Habitat is a specific area within a Tiger Reserve that is essential for the survival, breeding, feeding, and resting of wild tiger populations.

2. CTHs are identified by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) of India, taking into account ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural factors and in consultation with state governments.

3. CTHs are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, and activities with negative impacts on the habitat and tiger populations, such as mining, dams, highways, industrial areas, and urban expansion, are prohibited within these areas.

Royal Bengal Tiger Population in India

How many Royal Bengal Tiger in India?

  • In 2006, India's tiger population was estimated at 1,411.
  • By 2010, this number increased to 1,706.
  • In 2014, the tiger population continued to grow, reaching 2,226.
  • The 2018 census revealed a substantial increase, with the tiger population reaching 2,967.
  • India's tiger population increased to 3682 Tigers in 2022, up from 2967 in 2018, according to an estimate released on July 29 2023.

The consistent increase in the tiger population over these years is a positive indicator of the success of India's tiger conservation efforts. These conservation endeavors involve various stakeholders, including government agencies, conservation organizations, and local communities, working together to protect and preserve this iconic and endangered species.

Tiger Census in India

The tiger census in India is a crucial effort to monitor and conserve the tiger population in the country. Here's an overview of the tiger census in India:

1. Frequency: The national tiger census is conducted every four years.

2. Authority: The census is carried out by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), in collaboration with state forest departments, conservation NGOs, and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).

3. Methodology: The census uses a combination of ground-based surveys and images from camera traps. Camera traps are set up in various locations, and tigers are identified through their unique stripe patterns.

4. Population Estimation: The census aims to estimate the total number of tigers in India and to understand their distribution in different regions and reserves.

5. Historical Data: Over the years, India has seen a steady increase in its tiger population, thanks to conservation efforts. The census provides data for tracking this progress.

6. Conservation Milestones: The census data reflects India's commitment to doubling tiger numbers, as made at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010. India achieved this target ahead of schedule, demonstrating the success of its conservation initiatives.

7. Protected Areas: The census also assesses the status of tigers in various tiger reserves and protected areas, highlighting which reserves are the best managed and which ones need improvement.

8. State-wise Data: The census provides state-wise data on tiger populations, which is essential for tracking the distribution of tigers across the country.

9. New Technologies: The use of new technologies such as camera traps, GPS tagging, and artificial intelligence has enhanced the accuracy and efficiency of the census.

10. Global Importance: India's tiger conservation efforts are vital for the global tiger population, as a significant percentage of the world's tigers are found in India.

Tiger Census 2018:

1. An evaluation of India’s 50 tiger sanctuaries was also released along with the 4th National Tiger census.

2. Corbett Tiger Reserve (Uttarakhand) has the highest tigers followed by Nagarhole Tiger Reserve (Karnataka) and Bandipur Tiger Reserve (Karnataka).

3. Pench Sanctuary (Madhya Pradesh) and Periyar sanctuary (Kerala) emerged as the best-managed tiger reserves in the country.

4. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (Tamil Nadu) registered the “maximum improvement” since 2014.

5. Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in the tiger population.

6. No tiger has been found in Dampa Tiger Reserve (Mizoram), Buxa Tiger Reserve (West Bengal) and Palamau Reserve (Jharkhand).

New Technologies and Applications used in Tiger Census 2018

1. M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status), which uses GPS to geotag photo-evidences, and survey information was used to get the primary field data.

2. For the automated segregation of camera trap photographs to species using artificial intelligence and neural network models, software like CaTRAT (Camera Trap data Repository and Analysis Tool) was used.

3. Program ExtractCompare that fingerprints tigers from their stripe patterns were used to count the number of individual tigers (>1 year-old)

Tiger Census Report 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018:

S. NoYearTotal No. of Tiger

International Initiative for Tiger Conservation

Tiger conservation is not only a national concern but also an international one. Several international initiatives and agreements focus on the conservation of tigers and their habitats. One of the prominent international initiatives is:

1. Global Tiger Initiative:

The Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) was launched in 2008. It is a global alliance of governments, international organizations, civil society, the conservation and scientific communities and the private sector. 

The founding partners of the GTI include the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Smithsonian Institution, Save the Tiger Fund, and the International Tiger Coalition, which represents over 40 non-governmental organizations. 

World Bank and Global Tiger Initiative (GTI)

  • World Bank is one of the founder of Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) in 2008.
  • The World Bank hosted the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) Secretariat until July 1 2015.
  • World Bank acted as a convener of a global network working to save wild tigers and snow leopards from extinction.

2. Global Tiger Forum:

Established in 1993 in New Delhi, India, the Global Tiger Forum is an international intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the conservation of wild tigers in tiger range countries. The General Assembly of Global Tiger Forum meets after every three years.

It promotes global campaigns for tiger protection, the creation of secure tiger habitats, comprehensive legal frameworks for tiger conservation, financial and infrastructural support, training and research, and bilateral cooperation.

Global Tiger Forum Headquarter:

The headquarters of the Global Tiger Forum is located in New Delhi, India. It was established in 1993 by the governments of tiger range countries to promote the conservation of tigers and their habitats.

Global Tiger Forum Members (Global Tiger Forum Countries):

Out of the 13 tiger range countries, seven are currently members of GTF-

  1. India
  2. Nepal
  3. Bhutan
  4. Bangladesh
  5. Myanmar
  6. Cambodia
  7. Vietnam
  8. United Kingdom (non-tiger range country)

3. Global Tiger Recovery Program:

Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP) was launched in 2010. In 2010, leaders of the tiger range countries (TRCs) assembled at an International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg (Russia) to adopt the St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation and endorsed its implementation mechanism, called the Global Tiger Recovery Program.

GTRP was developed, with the shared goal of doubling the number of wild tigers across their geographical area from about 3,200 to more than 7,000 by 2022.

The tiger range countries that are part of the Global Tiger Recovery Program are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

4. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES):

CITES is an international agreement aimed at ensuring that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Tigers are listed in CITES Appendix I, which includes species that are most endangered, and trade in their parts and derivatives is prohibited.

5. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):

UNDP plays a role in supporting tiger conservation initiatives by working with tiger range countries and partners to achieve the goals set by the Global Tiger Initiative and the St. Petersburg Declaration.

6. Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS):

CA|TS is a set of criteria that allows tiger sites to assess whether their management practices align with successful tiger conservation. These standards help ensure that tiger conservation efforts are effective and efficient.

7. TX2 Award:

The TX2 Award is a global recognition established in 2010 in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is presented to sites in tiger range countries that have made significant progress in tiger conservation since 2010. The award is supported by various organizations, and winners receive a financial grant to further their tiger conservation efforts.

TX2 Award are presented by the Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CATS), Fauna and Flora International (FFI), Global Tiger Forum (GTF), IUCN’s Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHCP), Panthera, UNDP, The Lion’s Share, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and WWF.

  • TX2 Award were open to submissions from any site in a tiger range country that has achieved remarkable measurable progress since 2010.
  • TX2 Award winner Sites will receive a small financial grant to be used to further tiger conservation.
  • TX2 Award winners were announced on 23rd November 2020 for the first time.
  • TX2 Award 2020 celebrate the 10th anniversary of all 13 Tiger Range countries, committed to double the global population of wild tigers by 2022 (TX2 Goal).

TX2 Goal:

  • The TX2 goal is a global commitment to double the world’s wild tigers by 2022.
  • The goal has been set by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) through the Global Tiger Initiative, Global Tiger Forum and other critical platforms.

TX2 Award 2020:

  • The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (Uttar Pradesh) has bagged first TX2 award in 2020, among the 13 tiger ranging countries for having doubled the number of tigers.
  • The number of tigers in the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve area has gone up to 65 from 25 in the period of just four years (2014-18).
  • In 2014, All India Tiger Estimation (Tiger Census 2014) had estimated 25 tigers in Pilibhit and 2018 All India Tiger Estimation (Tiger Census 2018) showed an increase by projecting 65 tigers.

TX2 Award 2022:

  • Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (Erode district in Tamil Nadu) has been awarded the prestigious TX2 Award after its tiger number doubled since 2010.
  • Apart from India’s Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, the Bardia National Park (Nepal) has won this year’s TX2 Award for doubling the population of wild tigers since 2010.

7. International Tiger Day (Global Tiger Day):

International Tiger Day, celebrated on July 29th, serves as a global platform to raise awareness about the critical challenges and conservation efforts needed to secure the future of these magnificent creatures. 

International Tiger Day is aimed to promote the conservation of the tiger as well as to advocate a global system for protecting its natural habitats worldwide.

  • International Tiger Day was established in 2010 at St. Petersburg Tiger Summit (29 July 2010) in Russia.
  • 29 July is the anniversary of the agreement of St. Petersburg Tiger Summit.
  • International Tiger Day (ITD) is also known as World Tiger Day or Global Tiger Day.

International Tiger Day 2022:

  • On July 29 2022, the International Tiger Day is celebrated across the world. 
  • Year 2022 is marking the 12th International Tiger Day.
  • International Tiger Day 2022 theme was “India launches Project Tiger to revive the tiger population”.

These international initiatives and agreements recognize the importance of collaborative efforts to protect tigers and their habitats on a global scale. They promote cooperation among countries, organizations, and individuals to conserve this iconic and endangered species.

Tiger Range Countries

Tiger Range Countries refer to the countries where wild tiger populations are found. These countries are home to the natural habitats of tigers, and efforts are made to protect and conserve these habitats for the survival of tigers. The Tiger Range Countries include:

  • India
  • Bangladesh
  • Myanmar
  • Bhutan
  • Nepal
  • Cambodia
  • Lao PDR (People’s Democratic Republic)
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • Viet Nam
  • China
  • Russia

Royal Bengal Tiger Facts (10 lines on Royal Bengal Tiger)

Certainly, here are some interesting facts about the Royal Bengal Tiger:

1. Scientific Name: The Royal Bengal Tiger is scientifically known as Panthera tigris tigris.

2. Distinct Subspecies: It is one of the 8 living subspecies of tigers and is native to the Indian subcontinent.

3. Appearance: Royal Bengal Tigers are known for their stunning orange coat with dark vertical stripes. No two tigers have identical stripe patterns.

4. Size: They are among the largest big cat species globally, with males weighing between180 to 270 kilograms and measuring up to 10 feet (3 meters) in length.

5. Habitat: They inhabit a variety of ecosystems, including mangrove swamps, grasslands, and deciduous forests, but they are most commonly associated with the dense mangrove forests of the Sundarbans in India and Bangladesh.

6. Hunting Prowess: Bengal Tigers are skilled hunters and primarily prey on large herbivores such as deer, wild boar, and even young elephants.

7. Solitary Animals: They are solitary animals and highly territorial. A male tiger's territory often overlaps with those of several females.

8. Nocturnal Predators: They are primarily active at night, making them nocturnal predators.

9. Endangered Species: The Royal Bengal Tiger has been classified as endangered by the IUCN since 2010 due to habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflicts.

10. Conservation Efforts: Various countries and organizations are actively involved in conservation efforts to protect the Royal Bengal Tiger, including the establishment of protected reserves and anti-poaching initiatives.

11. Symbol of India: The Royal Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India and holds significant cultural and ecological importance in the region.

12. Swimming Abilities: Unlike many other big cats, Bengal Tigers are strong swimmers and are known to chase their prey into the water.

Royal Bengal Tiger UPSC Questions

Q. Royal Bengal Tiger is found in which forest?/Royal Bengal Tiger found in which national park?

A. The Royal Bengal Tiger is primarily found in various national parks and wildlife reserves across India and Bangladesh. Some of the prominent locations where you can find the Royal Bengal Tiger include:

  • Sundarbans National Park
  • Jim Corbett National Park
  • Kaziranga National Park
  • Bandipur National Park
  • Ranthambore National Park
  • Kanha National Park

These are just a few examples, and there are several other national parks, wildlife reserves, and protected areas where you can find the Royal Bengal Tiger in both India and Bangladesh.

Q. Royal Bengal Tiger height in feet?

A. The height of a Royal Bengal Tiger at the shoulder typically ranges from 3 to 3.5 feet (approximately 0.9 to 1.1 meters). This measurement represents the tiger's shoulder height when it is standing on all fours.

Q. Is Royal Bengal Tiger an endangered species?

A. Yes, the Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is classified as an endangered species. This subspecies of tiger is native to the Indian subcontinent, including India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized the Royal Bengal Tiger as endangered, indicating that it faces a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

The primary threats to the Royal Bengal Tiger's survival include habitat loss, poaching, human-wildlife conflicts, and the illegal wildlife trade. Conservation efforts are in place to protect and preserve this iconic big cat and its natural habitat, but the species remains endangered due to ongoing challenges and the need for continued conservation initiatives.

Q. Endangered species of animals like Royal Bengal Tiger is protected under?

A. The endangered species of animals like the Royal Bengal Tiger are protected under various international and national regulations and conventions. Some of the key protective measures and agreements include:

  • The Royal Bengal Tiger is listed under CITES Appendix I. This is the highest level of protection under CITES, which prohibits international trade in tigers and their parts.
  • In India, the Royal Bengal Tiger is protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, which provides legal measures for the conservation and protection of wildlife and their habitats.

Royal Bengal Tiger Photos

Royal Bengal Tiger

Royal Bengal Tiger

Royal Bengal Tiger

Royal Bengal Tiger

Royal Bengal Tiger

Royal Bengal Tiger

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