His Majesty-The Royal Bengal Tiger

His Majesty-The Royal Bengal Tiger

By Shivakumar

Tigers are the cats of beauty, strength and majesty, which are solitary in nature and like to spend most of time alone roaming around their massive territory.

The Bengal Tigers found in India, Nepal, Bangladesh Bhutanare . Bengal tiger is one of the nine subspecies of the tiger found in the world . Six species as endanger and three of them have been extinct in the wild as per IUCN ( International Union for Conservation of Nature ).

They size of a bengal tiger varies from range 270 centimetres  to 310 centimetres  long and weigh up to 300kgs. Tigers are the cats of beauty, strength and majesty, which are solitary in nature and like to spend most of time alone roaming around their own territory.

The association of tigers with India can be traced in Panchatantra of Punyakoti- the holy cow story, or in Hindu epic story of Prince Ayappa getting milk of the tigress, or various hunting pictures depicted in medieval paintings, or in the latest story of 19th century “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling.

India in the beginning of 20th century had almost 40,000 tigers in the wild. But unfortunately, due to hunting, poaching and habitat loss, the number has drastically reduced by 94% to mere 2200 in 2015. Although there has been improvement of 30% increase from 1700 in 2010-thanks to Governments tremendous efforts and stringent policies.

People in the vicinity of the tigers have also helped in increase of tiger’s population. The best example is the soliga tribes in B.R.Hills forest near Mysuru of Karnataka, who live with tigers in the wild. The same can also been seen in the Bor wildlife in Maharashtra. 

As of now, India accounts for 70% of the global total population of tigers in the wild. This makes India unique and distinguished from other nations, where it is either captive or as commercial farming.

Tigers need to be saved, because being the top predator and apex in the food chain, they keep check on proper balance between prey, herbivorous and vegetation in the ecosystem. They feed majorly on the herbivorous mammals like chital, sambar etc. They play the pivot role in the health of the ecosystem and extinct of it would be an indication that the ecosystem is not sufficiently protected.

High  demand for their skin and bones, mainly for house decorative, medicines and jewelry are the main reasons for poaching.

India with a vison to save its tiger launched Project Tiger with nine tiger reserves in 1973, with  now expanding to fifty is laudable and commendable for saving the tigers.

Government has plans to increase the tiger population by double of that of 2010 by 2022.

India has a lead role to play in Global Tiger forum. With international organization and commitments like that of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN), it has been possible to control on the rampant killings of the tigers and also improvement measures to save from its extinction.

Shivakumar

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