Tigers are the largest species of cats in the world. They are recognizable and awe-inspiring, but have you ever wondered what biome do tigers live in?
If you have, you are not alone because the majestic tiger is sadly on the Endangered Red List of Threatened Species released by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Knowing more about where these creatures live can help us understand more about their environment and the part we play in safeguarding them.
Just 3,500 tigers remain worldwide, and while they can be found in areas from the sands of the Kalahari Desert to the grasslands of Africa, they are mostly found in tropical forests, where there's an abundance of prey.
Since all eight tiger species, including the famous Bengal tiger, are on the brink of extinction, we must learn more about these truly fascinating creatures, their habitat, natural history, their relationship with humans, and their importance in whichever ecosystem they live in.
As experts in the various biomes found on earth and the creatures that live within them, including tigers, we can provide you with all the information you need on what biome tigers live in and much more.
The Tiger – Awe-Inspiring and Elegant
The tiger is the most well-known of the large cats. Their long, white whiskers, black-and-orange coats inspire awe and adoration in many. Tigers may be found in a variety of environments, including tropical rainforests, grasslands, savannahs, rocky terrain, and even swamps. The Bengal tiger, endemic to the Indian subcontinent, the Amur tiger of Manchuria, the south Chinese tiger of south-central China, the Indo-Chinese tiger of China, the Sumatran tiger, and the Javan, Caspian, and Balinese tigers are now extinct.
Through the centuries, the tiger has evolved from the Siberian taiga, where nights may be as cold as 40°F, to the mangrove swamps, where temperatures can exceed 104°F. Tigers live in a variety of settings, from arid grassland to rainforests. Grasslands, and deciduous forests, rather than highly canopied forests, sustain the largest population densities since these habitats provide the most prey species. The tiger, which developed in the temperate and subtropical forests of eastern Asia, is less heat tolerant than other great cats, which may explain why it is a skilled swimmer who appears to love bathing.
Tigers, with the exception of mothers and their offspring, are solitary creatures. Individual tigers traverse wide territories known as home ranges, the size of which is dictated by the amount of food available. Tigers do not monitor their territory, but they do mark it with urine and excrement over a period of days or weeks to signal to other tigers that it is occupied. Tigers are the biggest of the Asian big cats, reaching up to 660 pounds when fully grown. The Sumatran tiger is the smallest of the tiger subspecies, weighing no more than 310 pounds. Males are found to be heavier than females.
The place in which an animal would normally choose to reside is referred to as its habitat. In general, each species has a distinct habitat with distinct qualities and features that suit that particular animal's needs. The optimum environment for the animal must meet three basic conditions. There must be 1) a place to stay, 2) food, and 3) water. Tigers need refuge to hide from prospective prey while they hunt their prey and dangers (typically from humans) and protect their young. Prey is the tiger's main source of food, and it spends much of its life looking for it.
There must also be enough water to maintain both the tigers and their prey in terms of water. They, too, are sensitive to extreme temperatures and like cooling off in cool water. They may chase their prey into rather deep water since they are superb swimmers.
These conditions are met in a variety of locations across the world. Asia is unquestionably the most plentiful habitat for these endangered species. The whole country of India, the lower Himalayan mountain range, West Bengal's mangrove swamps, and the dense foliage of the diverse forests of the Far East are the most abundant regions in which to discover the many subspecies of tigers.
Tigers are most typically found in China, Southeast Asia, and Russia. Tigers' capacity to adapt to a wide range of environments is evidenced by their large range of habitats. Since each subspecies of the tiger is different, they are mostly found in rainforests.
The Bengal tiger is a well-known subspecies. The Bengal tiger is the biggest and most frequent subspecies of tigers. The Bengal tiger may be found in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and southern Tibet, among other places. Tropical rainforests, grasslands and scrub woods, wet deciduous forests, and mangroves are all home to the Bengal tiger. It is also India's national animal.
Prairies in North America, the African savannahs, Australian rangelands, and South America are all grasslands where tigers can be found. They are all, however, regions where there is insufficient rainfall for trees to grow in large numbers. Instead, grasses and grass-like plants that have growth tips near to the soil and can continue to grow even after being nibbled on by animals dominate these places. Grazing mammals such as zebras, antelope, and bison may graze on these grasses in large numbers. These herds, in turn, provide habitat for iconic predators such as lions and cheetahs.
The tiger hunts at night and eats a wide range of animals, although it likes large prey like deer and wild pigs. Despite the risk of damage from their quills, porcupines have a particular place in my heart. Although tiger attacks on elephants and buffalo have been documented, tiger attacks on healthy big animals are normally avoided. Some tigers can thrive on domestic livestock, and cattle are occasionally kidnapped from human habitations. It makes a concerted endeavor to hide the carcass from scavengers after killing prey and devouring what it can in order to secure another meal.
Causes of Extinction
Even though tigers had been hunted for the past thousand years, the total tiger population was estimated to be around 100,000 by the turn of the twentieth century. Tigers were coveted as prizes and as a supply of skins for luxury coats. They were also murdered because they were considered a threat to people. Only 7,500 wild tigers remained as the century came to a conclusion, and captivity tigers may now outnumber wild ones. The world's tiger population has shrunk to around 3,000 tigers since then, which means that their population has dropped at an alarming rate.
Forests and grasslands, ideal tiger habitats, are being transformed for agricultural purposes. Approximately 181,000 square miles of forest were destroyed in Asia between 1980 and 1990. Deforestation is expected to continue at a pace of around 18,000 square miles each year.
To sustain healthy breeding populations, tigers require huge contiguous areas of appropriate habitat. Wide swaths of open terrain created by land conversion for agricultural purposes may divide tiger populations from one another. Because of the increased struggle for food and mates, fragmentation may lead to more hostile interactions between tigers, in addition to lower genetic variation.
Asia is home to wild tigers. The Siberian tiger, for example, lives in northern, colder places like northeastern China and eastern Russia. In southern, warmer nations like Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, India and many other countries.
The illegal killing of an animal is known as poaching. Tigers are poached for two major reasons: their threat to animals and/or people and monetary gain. Tigers were once hunted for their furs. While some are still marketed illegally, public awareness initiatives and international trade prohibitions have helped to curb demand. Tigers have been unlawfully shot at or poisoned by ingesting baited corpses because they feed on farm animals.
About THE AUTHOR
James Parker has a Masters degree in Sustainability with a focus on land management, permaculture and regenerative agriculture. He also has experience managing sustainability projects, and is passionate about conservation and sustainability.Read More About James Parker