Tiger

Panthera tigris

The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to 3.38 m over curves and weighing up to 388.7 kg in the wild. Its most recognisable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with a lighter underside. The species is classified in the genus ''Panthera'' with the lion, leopard, jaguar and snow leopard. Tigers are apex predators, primarily preying on ungulates such as deer and bovids. They are territorial and generally solitary but social animals, often requiring large contiguous areas of habitat that support their prey requirements. This, coupled with the fact that they are indigenous to some of the more densely populated places on Earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans.

Tigers once ranged widely across Asia, from Turkey in the west to the eastern coast of Russia. Over the past 100 years, they have lost 93% of their historic range, and have been extirpated from southwest and central Asia, from the islands of Java and Bali, and from large areas of Southeast and Eastern Asia. Today, they range from the Siberian taiga to open grasslands and tropical mangrove swamps. The remaining six tiger subspecies have been classified as endangered by IUCN. The global population in the wild is estimated to number between 3,062 and 3,948 individuals, down from around 100,000 at the start of the 20th century, with most remaining populations occurring in small pockets isolated from each other. Major reasons for population decline include habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation and poaching. The extent of area occupied by tigers is estimated at less than 1,184,911 km2 , a 41% decline from the area estimated in the mid-1990s.

Tigers are among the most recognisable and popular of the world's charismatic megafauna. They have featured prominently in ancient mythology and folklore, and continue to be depicted in modern films and literature. They appear on many flags, coats of arms, and as mascots for sporting teams. The tiger is the national animal of Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Malaysia and South Korea.
Close Encounter After roaming around in open Gypsy for couple of hours and enjoying the best of wildlife, we quite never expected that a majestic male tiger was waiting for us. 

This angry looking fellow, seem to have quenched his thirst & getting ready for a kill. He had positioned himself and we accidentally came in its way. He gave us the look, growled out in a threatening way and charged on us. 

We were at his mercy, fortunately he shifted away and went other way. We didn't react at all, cause we were stunned anyway. 

It was a close escape, all in less than 20 secs. The most thrilling experience ever. Geotagged,India,Panthera tigris,Tadoba,Tiger,aggressive,angry,attacking,charge,environment,forest,gesture,grawl,horizontal,hunting,indian,jungle,natural,posture,teeth

Appearance

Tigers have muscular bodies with powerful forelimbs, large heads and long tails. The pelage is dense and heavy; coloration varies between shades of orange and brown with white ventral areas and distinctive vertical black stripes, whose patterns are unique to each individual. Their function is likely for camouflage in vegetation such as long grass with strong vertical patterns of light and shade. The tiger is one of only a few striped cat species; it is not known why spots are the more common camouflage pattern among felids. The tiger's stripes are also found on the skin, so that if it were to be shaved, its distinctive coat pattern would still be visible. They have a mane-like heavy growth of fur around the neck and jaws and long whiskers, especially in males. The pupils are circular with yellow irises. The small, rounded ears have a prominent white spot on the back, surrounded by black. These false "eyespots", called ocelli, apparently play an important role in intraspecies communication.

The skull is similar to that of the lion, though the frontal region is usually not as depressed or flattened, with a slightly longer postorbital region. The skull of a lion has broader nasal openings. However, due to variation in skulls of the two species, the structure of the lower jaw is a more reliable indicator of species. The tiger also has fairly stout teeth; the somewhat curved canines are the longest among living felids with a crown height of up to 90 mm .

The oldest recorded captive tiger lived for 26 years. A wild specimen, having no natural predators, could in theory live to a comparable age.
Parched As summer has truly set in here, the animals are having to move a lot to find water. This once large pond (or small lake) is now nothing more than a muddy puddle, but for this tigress a it will be life saving. Geotagged,India,John Rowell,Kabini,Panthera tigris,Spring,Tiger,adhocphotographer,india

Naming

In 1758, Linnaeus first described the species in his work ''Systema Naturae'' under the scientific name ''Felis tigris''. In 1929, the British taxonomist Reginald Innes Pocock subordinated the species under the genus ''Panthera'' using the scientific name ''Panthera tigris''.

The word ''Panthera'' is probably of Oriental origin and retraceable to the Ancient Greek word ''panther'', the Latin word ''panthera'', the Old French word ''pantere'', most likely meaning "the yellowish animal", or from ''pandarah'' meaning ''whitish-yellow''. The derivation from Greek ''pan-'' and ''ther'' may be folk etymology.

The specific epithet, ''tigris'', as well as the common name, tiger, come from the Middle English ''tigre'' and the Old English ''tigras'' , both used for the animal. These derive from the Old French ''tigre'', itself a derivative of the Latin word ''tigris'' and the Greek word ''tigris''. The original source may have been the Persian ''tigra'' meaning pointed or sharp and the Avestan ''tigrhi'' meaning an arrow, perhaps referring to the speed with which a tiger launches itself at its prey.There are 10 recognized tiger subspecies. One, the Trinil, became extinct in prehistoric times. The remaining subspecies all survived at least into the mid-20th century; three of these are also considered extinct. Their historical range in Bangladesh, Siberia, Iran, Afghanistan, India, China, and southeast Asia, including three Indonesian islands, is severely diminished today. The modern subspecies are:
One of my favourite tiger sightings The sun was setting behind the clouds and the light was diminishing, it was time to head back. We reached a cross road, and paused to pick up a carelessly discarded plastic bottle in the middle of the road.  While the forest-department driver got out to pick up the litter, I joked with the others in the jeep that “this is when I wouldn’t like to see a tiger”, prompting sniggers. The driver returned with a nonchalant smile on his face and mentioned in an off-hand way “there is a tiger over there”! Our first reaction was appreciating his sense of humour, but he was not kidding. Emerging from a bush a tiger strode into the clearing just opposite us. Goose-bumps rose on my arms as we watched the tiger saunter across the field in the eerie silence of the setting sun.

The scene is etched in my mind and still haunts me.  It wondered through patch of grassland, weaving between the trees until gradually disappearing into the thicket at the back. We were left breathless and in awe. 5D mkIII,Bandipur,Geotagged,India,Karnataka,Panthera tigris,Spring,Tiger

Distribution

In the past, tigers were found throughout Asia, from the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea to Siberia and the Indonesian islands of Java, Bali and Sumatra. Fossil remains indicate tigers were also present in Borneo and Palawan in the Philippines during the late Pleistocene and Holocene.

During the 20th century, tigers became extinct in western Asia and were restricted to isolated pockets in the remaining parts of their range. They were extirpated on the island of Bali in the 1940s, around the Caspian Sea in the 1970s, and on Java in the 1980s. This was the result of habitat loss and the ongoing killing of tigers and tiger prey. Today, their fragmented and partly degraded range extends from India in the west to China and Southeast Asia. The northern limit of their range is close to the Amur River in southeastern Siberia. The only large island they still inhabit is Sumatra. Since the beginning of the 20th century, tigers' historical range has shrunk by 93%. In the decade from 1997 to 2007, the estimated area known to be occupied by tigers has declined by 41%.

Tigers can occupy a wide range of habitat types, but will usually require sufficient cover, proximity to water, and an abundance of prey. Compared to the lion, the tiger prefers denser vegetation, for which its camouflage colouring is ideally suited, and where a single predator is not at a disadvantage compared with the multiple felines in a pride. A further habitat requirement is the placement of suitably secluded den locations, which may consist of caves, large hollow trees, or dense vegetation. Bengal tigers in particular live in many types of forests, including wet, evergreen, and the semievergreen of Assam and eastern Bengal; the swampy mangrove forest of the Ganges Delta; the deciduous forest of Nepal, and the thorn forests of the Western Ghats. In various parts of their range they inhabit or have inhabited additionally partially open grassland and savanna as well as taiga forests and rocky habitats.
Tiger 12' x 12', Inks on wood board, June 2011 Asia,Panthera tigris,Tiger,art

Status

The tiger is an endangered species. Poaching for fur and body parts and destruction of habitat have simultaneously greatly reduced tiger populations in the wild. At the start of the 20th century, it is estimated there were over 100,000 tigers in the wild, but the population has dwindled outside of captivity to between 1,500 and 3,500. Major reasons for population decline include habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation and poaching. Demand for tiger parts for use in traditional chinese medicine has also been cited as a major threat to tiger populations. Some estimates suggest that there are less than 2,500 mature breeding individuals, with no subpopulation containing more than 250 mature breeding individuals. The global wild tiger population was estimated by the World Wide Fund for Nature at 3,200 in 2011. The exact number of wild tigers is unknown, as many estimates are outdated or are educated guesses; few estimates are based on reliable scientific censuses. The table shows estimates per country according to IUCN and range country governments.

India is home to the world's largest population of wild tigers but only 11% of the original Indian tiger habitat remains, and it has become fragmented and degraded. From 1973, India's ''Project Tiger'', started by Indira Gandhi, established over 25 tiger reserves in reclaimed land, where human development was forbidden. The project was credited with tripling the number of wild Bengal tigers from some 1,200 in 1973 to over 3,500 in the 1990s, but a 2007 census showed that numbers had dropped back to about 1,400 tigers because of poaching. Following the report, the Indian government pledged $153 million to the initiative, set up measures to combat poaching, promised funds to relocate up to 200,000 villagers in order to reduce human-tiger interactions, and set up eight new tiger reserves. India also reintroduced tigers to the Sariska Tiger Reserve and by 2009 it was claimed that poaching had been effectively countered at Ranthambore National Park. The Wildlife Conservation Society and Panthera Corporation formed the collaboration ''Tigers Forever'', with field sites including the world's largest tiger reserve, the 21,756 km2 Hukaung Valley in Myanmar. Other reserves were in the Western Ghats, in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, the Russian Far East and China, covering in total about 260,000 km2 .

In the 1940s, the Siberian tiger was on the brink of extinction with only about 40 animals remaining in the wild in Russia. As a result, anti-poaching controls were put in place by the Soviet Union and a network of protected zones were instituted, leading to a rise in the population to several hundred. Poaching again became a problem in the 1990s, when the economy of Russia collapsed. The major obstacle in preserving the species is the enormous territory individual tigers require . Current conservation efforts are led by local governments and NGO's in concert with international organisations, such as the World Wide Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Society. The competitive exclusion of wolves by tigers has been used by Russian conservationists to convince hunters to tolerate the big cats. Tigers have less impact on ungulate populations than do wolves, and are effective in controlling the latter's numbers. In 2005, there were thought to be about 360 animals in Russia, though these exhibited little genetic diversity.



Having earlier rejected the Western-led environmentalist movement, China changed its stance in the 1980s and became a party to the CITES treaty. By 1993 it had banned the trade in tiger parts, and this diminished the use of tiger bones in traditional Chinese medicine.
After this, the Tibetan people's trade in tiger skins became a relatively more important threat to tigers. The pelts were used in clothing, tiger-skin ''chuba'' being worn by singers and participants in horse racing festivals, and had became status symbols. In 2004, international conservation organizations launched successful environmental propaganda campaigns in China against the Tibetan tiger skin trade. There was outrage in India, where many Tibetans live, and the 14th Dalai Lama was persuaded to take up the issue. Since then there has been a change of attitude, with some Tibetans publicly burning their chubas.

In 1994, the Indonesian Sumatran Tiger Conservation Strategy addressed the potential crisis that tigers faced in Sumatra. The Sumatran Tiger Project was initiated in June 1995 in and around the Way Kambas National Park in order to ensure the long-term viability of wild Sumatran tigers and to accumulate data on tiger life-history characteristics vital for the management of wild populations. By August 1999, the teams of the STP had evaluated 52 sites of potential tiger habitat in Lampung Province, of which only 15 these were intact enough to contain tigers. In the framework of the STP a community-based conservation programme was initiated to document the tiger-human dimension in the park in order to enable conservation authorities to resolve tiger-human conflicts based on a comprehensive database rather than anecdotes and opinions.
T-39 aka Noor || Ranthambore || June 2018
https://www.facebook.com/MohammedSalmanPics/ Panthera tigris,Tiger

Behavior

Adult tigers lead largely solitary lives. They establish and maintain home ranges. Resident adults of either sex generally confine their movements to a territory, within which they satisfy their needs and those of their growing cubs. Individuals sharing the same area are aware of each other's movements and activities. The size of the home range mainly depends on prey abundance, and, in the case of males, on access to females. A tigress may have a territory of 20 km2 , while the territories of males are much larger, covering 60 to 100 km2 . The range of a male tends to overlap those of several females, providing him with a large field of prospective mating partners.

Unlike many felids, tigers are strong swimmers and often deliberately bathe in ponds, lakes and rivers as a means of keeping cool in the heat of the day. Among the big cats, only the jaguar shares a similar fondness for water. They may cross rivers up to 7 km across and can swim up to 29 km in a day. They are able to carry prey through or capture it in the water.

Young female tigers establish their first territories close to their mother's. The overlap between the female and her mother's territory reduces with time. Males, however, migrate further than their female counterparts and set out at a younger age to mark out their own area. A young male acquires territory either by seeking out an area devoid of other male tigers, or by living as a transient in another male's territory until he is older and strong enough to challenge the resident male. Young males seeking to establish themselves thereby comprise the highest mortality rate amongst adult tigers.



To identify his territory, the male marks trees by spraying urine and anal gland secretions, as well as marking trails with scat and marking trees or the ground with their claws. Females also use these "scrapes", as well as urine and scat markings. Scent markings of this type allow an individual to pick up information on another's identity, sex and reproductive status. Females in oestrus will signal their availability by scent marking more frequently and increasing their vocalizations.

Although for the most part avoiding each other, tigers are not always territorial and relationships between individuals can be complex. An adult of either sex will sometimes share its kill with others, even those who may not be related to them. George Schaller observed a male share a kill with two females and four cubs. Unlike male lions, male tigers allow females and cubs to feed on the kill before the male is finished with it; all involved generally seem to behave amicably, in contrast to the competitive behaviour shown by a lion pride. This quotation is from Stephen Mills' book ''Tiger'', describing an event witnessed by Valmik Thapar and Fateh Singh Rathore in Ranthambhore National Park:


A dominant tigress they called Padmini killed a 250 kg male nilgai – a very large antelope. They found her at the kill just after dawn with her three 14-month-old cubs and they watched uninterrupted for the next ten hours. During this period the family was joined by two adult females and one adult male, all offspring from Padmini's previous litters, and by two unrelated tigers, one female the other unidentified. By three o'clock there were no fewer than nine tigers round the kill.


Male tigers are generally more intolerant of other males within their territories than females are of other females. Territory disputes are usually solved by displays of intimidation rather than outright aggression. Several such incidents have been observed in which the subordinate tiger yielded defeat by rolling onto its back and showing its belly in a submissive posture. Once dominance has been established, a male may tolerate a subordinate within his range, as long as they do not live in too close quarters. The most aggressive disputes tend to occur between two males when a female is in oestrus, and may rarely result in the death of one of the males.



Facial expressions include the "defense threat", where an individual bares its teeth, flattens its ears and its pupils enlarge. Males often use the flehmen response when identifying a female's reproductive status by sniffing her urine markings, and can be seen making the characteristic grimace. Like other ''Panthera'', tigers roar, particularly in aggressive situations, during the mating season or when making a kill. There are two different roars: the "true" roar is made using the hyoid apparatus and forced through an open mouth as it progressively closes, and the shorter, harsher "coughing" roar is made with the mouth open and teeth exposed. The "true" roar can be heard at up to 3 km away and is sometimes emitted three or four times in succession. When tense, tigers will moan, a sound similar to a roar but more subdued and made when the mouth is partially or completely closed. Moaning can be heard 400 m away. Chuffing, soft, low-frequency snorting similar to purring in smaller cats, is heard in more friendly situations. Other vocal communications include grunts, woofs, snarls, miaows, hisses and growls.

Tigers have been studied in the wild using a variety of techniques. The populations of tigers have been estimated using plaster casts of their pugmarks, although this method was criticized as being inaccurate. More recent attempts have been made using camera trapping and studies on DNA from their scat, while radio collaring has been used to track tigers in the wild.
Eye of the Tiger Portrait of a tiger, one of the most majestic creatures in the animal kingdom.  Geotagged,Ireland,Panthera tigris,Summer,Tiger

Habitat

In the past, tigers were found throughout Asia, from the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea to Siberia and the Indonesian islands of Java, Bali and Sumatra. Fossil remains indicate tigers were also present in Borneo and Palawan in the Philippines during the late Pleistocene and Holocene.

During the 20th century, tigers became extinct in western Asia and were restricted to isolated pockets in the remaining parts of their range. They were extirpated on the island of Bali in the 1940s, around the Caspian Sea in the 1970s, and on Java in the 1980s. This was the result of habitat loss and the ongoing killing of tigers and tiger prey. Today, their fragmented and partly degraded range extends from India in the west to China and Southeast Asia. The northern limit of their range is close to the Amur River in southeastern Siberia. The only large island they still inhabit is Sumatra. Since the beginning of the 20th century, tigers' historical range has shrunk by 93%. In the decade from 1997 to 2007, the estimated area known to be occupied by tigers has declined by 41%.

Tigers can occupy a wide range of habitat types, but will usually require sufficient cover, proximity to water, and an abundance of prey. Compared to the lion, the tiger prefers denser vegetation, for which its camouflage colouring is ideally suited, and where a single predator is not at a disadvantage compared with the multiple felines in a pride. A further habitat requirement is the placement of suitably secluded den locations, which may consist of caves, large hollow trees, or dense vegetation. Bengal tigers in particular live in many types of forests, including wet, evergreen, and the semievergreen of Assam and eastern Bengal; the swampy mangrove forest of the Ganges Delta; the deciduous forest of Nepal, and the thorn forests of the Western Ghats. In various parts of their range they inhabit or have inhabited additionally partially open grassland and savanna as well as taiga forests and rocky habitats.
Tiger Male On the regular safari, we spotted this huge majestic beast gracefully walking. It was indeed a majestic sight Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve,Panthera tigris,Tiger,india,wildlife,wildlife photography

Reproduction

Mating can occur all year round, but is more common between November and April. A female is only receptive for three to six days. Mating is frequent and noisy during that time. Gestation can range from 93 to 112 days, the average being 105 days. The litter is usually two or three cubs, occasionally as few as one or as many as six. Cubs weigh from 680 to 1,400 g each at birth, and are born blind and helpless. The females rear them alone, with the birth site and maternal den in a sheltered location such as a thicket, cave or rocky crevice. The father generally takes no part in rearing them. Unrelated wandering male tigers may kill cubs to make the female receptive, since the tigress may give birth to another litter within five months if the cubs of the previous litter are lost. The mortality rate of tiger cubs is about 50% in the first two years. Few other predators attack tiger cubs due to the diligence and ferocity of the mother tiger. Apart from humans and other tigers, common causes of cub mortality are starvation, freezing, and accidents.

A dominant cub emerges in most litters, usually a male. This cub is more active than its siblings and takes the lead in their play, eventually leaving its mother and becoming independent earlier. The cubs open their eyes at six to fourteen days old. By eight weeks, the cubs make short ventures outside the den with their mother, although they do not travel with her as she roams her territory until they are older. The cubs are nursed for three to six months. Around the time they are weaned, they start to accompany their mother on territorial walks and they are taught how to hunt. The cubs often become capable hunters at eleven months old. The cubs become independent around eighteen months of age, but it is not until they are around two to two and a half years old that they fully separate from their mother. Females reach sexual maturity at three to four years, whereas males do so at four to five years.
Sub-adult cub of Noor || Ranthambore || June 2018
https://www.facebook.com/MohammedSalmanPics/
 Panthera tigris,Tiger

Food

In the wild, tigers mostly feed on large and medium-sized animals, preferring native ungulates weighing at least 90 kg . They typically have little or no deleterious effect on their prey populations. Sambar deer, chital, barasingha, wild boar, gaur, nilgai and both water buffalo and domestic buffalo, in descending order of preference, are the tiger's favoured prey in Tamil Nadu, India, while gaur and sambar are the preferred prey and constitute the main diet of tigers in other parts of India. They also prey on other predators, including dogs, leopards, pythons, sloth bears, and crocodiles. In Siberia, the main prey species are Manchurian wapiti and wild boar followed by sika deer, moose, roe deer, and musk deer. Asiatic black bears and Ussuri brown bears may also fall prey to tigers, and they constitute up to 40.7% of the diet of Siberian tigers depending on local conditions and the bear populations. In Sumatra, prey include sambar deer, muntjac, wild boar, and Malayan tapir. In the former Caspian tiger's range, prey included saiga antelope, camels, Caucasian wisent, yak, and wild horses. Like many predators, tigers are opportunistic and may eat much smaller prey, such as monkeys, peafowl and other ground-based birds, hares, porcupines, and fish.



Tigers generally do not prey on fully grown adult Asian elephants and Indian rhinoceros but incidents have been reported. More often, it is the more vulnerable small calves that are taken. Tigers have been reported attacking and killing elephants ridden by humans during tiger hunts in the nineteenth century. When in close proximity to humans, tigers will also sometimes prey on such domestic livestock as cattle, horses, and donkeys. Old or wounded tigers, unable to catch wild prey, can become man-eaters; this pattern has recurred frequently across India. An exception is in the Sundarbans, where healthy tigers prey upon fishermen and villagers in search of forest produce, humans thereby forming a minor part of the tiger's diet. Although almost exclusively carnivorous, tigers will occasionally eat vegetation for dietary fibre. The fruit of the slow match tree is a favorite.

Tigers are thought to be mainly nocturnal predators, but in areas where humans are typically absent, they have been observed via remote-controlled, hidden cameras, hunting in daylight. They generally hunt alone and ambush their prey as most other cats do, overpowering them from any angle, using their body size and strength to knock the prey off balance. Successful hunts usually require the tiger to almost simultaneously leap onto its quarry, knock it over, and grab the throat or nape with its teeth. Despite their large size, tigers can reach speeds of about 49–65 km/h but only in short bursts; consequently, tigers must be close to their prey before they break cover. If the prey catches wind of the tiger's presence before this, the tiger usually abandons the hunt rather than chase prey or battle it head-on. Horizontal leaps of up to 10 m have been reported, although leaps of around half this distance are more typical. One in 2 to 20 hunts, including stalking near potential prey, ends in a successful kill.



When hunting larger animals, tigers prefer to bite the throat and use their powerful forelimbs to hold onto the prey, often simultaneously wrestling it to the ground. The tiger remains latched onto the neck until its target dies of strangulation. By this method, gaurs and water buffaloes weighing over a ton have been killed by tigers weighing about a sixth as much. Although they can kill healthy adults, tigers often select the calves or infirm of very large species. Healthy adult prey of this type can be dangerous to tackle, as long, strong horns, legs and tusks are all potentially fatal to the tiger. No other extant land predator routinely takes on prey this large on their own. Whilst hunting sambars, which comprise up to 60% of their prey in India, tigers have reportedly made a passable impersonation of the male sambar's rutting call to attract them. With smaller prey, such as monkeys and hares, the tiger bites the nape, often breaking the spinal cord, piercing the windpipe, or severing the jugular vein or common carotid artery. Though rarely observed, some tigers have been recorded to kill prey by swiping with their paws, which are powerful enough to smash the skulls of domestic cattle, and break the backs of sloth bears.



During the 1980s, a tiger named "Genghis" in Ranthambhore National Park was observed frequently hunting prey through deep lake water, a pattern of behaviour that had not previously been witnessed in over 200 years of observations. Moreover, he appeared to be unusually successful, with 20% of hunts ending in a kill.

After killing their prey, tigers sometimes drag it to conceal it in vegetative cover, usually pulling it by grasping with their mouths at the site of the killing bite. This, too, can require great physical strength. In one case, after it had killed an adult gaur, a tiger was observed to drag the massive carcass over a distance of 12 m . When 13 men simultaneously tried to drag the same carcass later, they were unable to move it. An adult tiger can go for up to two weeks without eating, then gorge on 34 kg of flesh at one time. In captivity, adult tigers are fed 3 to 6 kg of meat a day.Historically, tigers have been hunted at a large scale so their famous striped skins could be collected. The trade in tiger skins peaked in the 1960s, just before international conservation efforts took effect. By 1977, a tiger skin in an English market was considered to be worth $4,250 US dollars.

Many people in China and other parts of Asia have a belief that various tiger parts have medicinal properties, including as pain killers and aphrodisiacs. There is no scientific evidence to support these beliefs. The use of tiger parts in pharmaceutical drugs in China is already banned, and the government has made some offences in connection with tiger poaching punishable by death. Furthermore, all trade in tiger parts is illegal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and a domestic trade ban has been in place in China since 1993.

However, the trading of tiger parts in Asia has become a major black market industry and governmental and conservation attempts to stop it have been ineffective to date. Almost all black marketers engaged in the trade are based in China and have either been shipped and sold within in their own country or into Taiwan, South Korea or Japan. The Chinese subspecies was almost completely decimated by killing for commerce due to both the parts and skin trades in the 1950s through the 1970s. Contributing to the illegal trade, there are a number of tiger farms in the country specialising in breeding the cats for profit. It is estimated that between 5,000 and 10,000 captive-bred, semi-tame animals live in these farms today. However, many tigers for traditional medicine black market are wild ones shot or snared by poachers and may be caught anywhere in the tiger's remaining range . In the Asian black market, a tiger penis can be worth the equivalent of around $300 U.S. dollars. In the years of 1990 through 1992, 27 million products with tiger derivatives were found. In July 2014 at an international convention on endangered species in Geneva, Switzerland, a Chinese representative admitted for the first time his government was aware trading in tiger skins was occurring in China.
Jungle book's inspiration 'Sherkhan' the 'bagh' in indian jungles especially central india, Best described in the famous 'jungle book',  the tigers are hard to find during your safaris.. And its only matter of luck..   this january it was my first safari in the jungles of bandhavgarh tiger reserve which used to be hunting ground for Kings and guest britishers back in its time.. But then converted to National park to save its wildlife..   

I knew the facts about how difficult is to sight tiger so i wasn't even expecting one..

But life is always 'expect the unexpected'
can't express the thrill in the crowd when this big sub-adult male had walk towards us and our open gypsys.. 
And it was too damn close to us and literally in my front... I was lucky that day.. 
It had its attitude.. Grace in his walk..

My first safari of lifetime paid of :)

but sadly this majestic cat is in
'endangered' category of IUCN Nikon,Panthera tigris,Royal bengal tiger,Tiger,abhitap,animal,asia,bandhavgarh,big,cat,feline,greatnature,incredibleindia,india,jungle,jungles,madhya,national,panthera tigris,park

Predators

Tigers usually prefer to eat prey they have caught themselves, but are not above eating carrion in times of scarcity and may even pirate prey from other large carnivores. Although predators typically avoid one another, if a prey item is under dispute or a serious competitor is encountered, displays of aggression are common. If these are not sufficient, the conflicts may turn violent; tigers may kill competitors as leopards, dholes, striped hyenas, wolves, bears, pythons and crocodiles on occasion. Tigers may also prey on these competitors. Attacks on smaller predators, such as badgers, lynxes, and foxes, are almost certainly predatory. Crocodiles, bears and dholes may win conflicts against tigers and in some cases even kill them.

The considerably smaller leopard avoids competition from tigers by hunting at different times of the day and hunting different prey. In India's Nagarhole National Park, most prey selected by leopards were from 30 to 175 kg against a preference for prey weighing over 176 kg in the tigers. The average prey weight in the two respective big cats in India was 37.6 kg against 91.5 kg . With relatively abundant prey, tigers and leopards were seen to successfully coexist without competitive exclusion or interspecies dominance hierarchies that may be more common to the African savanna . Lone golden jackals expelled from their pack have been known to form commensal relationships with tigers. These solitary jackals, known as ''kol-bahl'', will attach themselves to a particular tiger, trailing it at a safe distance to feed on the big cat's kills.
The Slap  Panthera tigris,Tiger

Evolution

The tiger's closest living relatives are the lion, leopard and jaguar, all of which are classified under the genus Panthera. A 2010 genetic analysis shows the tiger began evolving 3.2 million years ago, and it may be more closely related to the snow leopard than other Panthera species. The oldest remains of an extinct tiger relative, called ''Panthera zdanskyi'' or the Longdan tiger, have been found in the Gansu province of northwestern China. This species is considered to be a sister taxon to the extant tiger and lived about 2 million years ago, at the beginning of the Pleistocene. It was smaller than the modern tiger, being the size of a jaguar, and probably did not have the same coat pattern. Despite being considered more "primitive", the Longdan tiger was functionally and possibly ecologically similar to its modern cousin. As ''Panthera zdanskyi'' lived in northwestern China, that may have been where the tiger lineage originated. Tigers grew in size, possibly in response to adaptive radiations of prey species like deer and bovids which may have occurred in Southeast Asia during the early Pleistocene.

The earliest fossils of true tigers are from Java, and are between 1.6 and 1.8 million years old. Distinct fossils are known from the early and middle Pleistocene deposits in China and Sumatra. A subspecies called the Trinil tiger lived about 1.2 million years ago and is known from fossils found at Trinil in Java.

Tigers first reached India and northern Asia in the late Pleistocene, reaching eastern Beringia , Japan, and Sakhalin. Fossils found in Japan indicate the local tigers were, like the surviving island subspecies, smaller than the mainland forms, an example of insular dwarfism. Until the Holocene, tigers also lived in Borneo, as well as on the island of Palawan in the Philippines.

The tiger's full genome sequence was published in 2013. It and other cat genomes were found to have similar repeat composition and an appreciably conserved synteny.
South Indian Tiger This is a rare shot of a south indian tiger displaying the flehmen response, "a behaviour whereby an animal curls back its upper lips exposing its front teeth, inhales with the nostrils usually closed and then often holds this position for several seconds. It may be performed over a site or substance of particular interest to the animal." [wiki] Fall,Flehmen,Geotagged,India,Panthera tigris,Tiger,adhocphotographer,john rowell,kabini,karnataka,nagarhole,tiger,tiger reserve

Cultural

Tigers and their superlative qualities have been a source of fascination for mankind since ancient times, and they are routinely visible as important cultural and media motifs. They are also considered one of the charismatic megafauna, and are used as the face of conservation campaigns worldwide. In a 2004 online poll conducted by cable television channel Animal Planet, involving more than 50,000 viewers from 73 countries, the tiger was voted the world's favourite animal with 21% of the vote, narrowly beating the dog.

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