The Royal Bengal Tiger is the largest animal in the cat family. They have a reddish yellow coat with black stripes. The underside of their abdomen is white and their ears are black on the outside with a prominent white spot on it. The scientific name of tiger is 'Panthera Tigris'. The origin of the Bengal Tiger is most likely Siberia. From there, they migrated down south as the climate became colder. The only place where you can find The Royal Bengal Tiger now is in the land of its natural heritage, India. The Bengal Tiger ranges from 7 to10 feet and weighs around 350-550 lbs. You can find them anywhere in India except for in the deserts. The only problem now is that they are endangered. They have been hunted heavily by man for sport, skins, and as a source of traditional medical products. At the beginning of this century it is estimated that there were over 40,000 tigers, today the number is less than 8,000. The risk of extinction forced the government of India to initiate the 'Project Tiger' in April 1973, when the tiger population was less than 2000. The main threats to tigers are poaching, habitat loss and population fragmentation. It is anticipated there are only about 4000 tigers left in India. .
One of the main reasons that the Bengal Tiger is endangered is because of the lack of its natural habitat. The tiger lives in various habitats from, open jungles, humid evergreen forests to mango grove swamps. Male Bengal tigers require a territory of 20 square miles, and females require about 17 square miles in order for them to feel protected. In India, the population has developed immensely. Large-scale migration on the outskirts of large cities has affected the forests too. A large part of India was covered, until recently, with thick forests. Since there has been a great deal of expansion, these forests were cut down to provide land for homes or commercial uses. Another major cause of deforestation is agricultural expansion.