Tigers - Rare Beauties of Nepal
The tiger is the most written about animal in Asia. Despite this, there is still so much to learn about the behavior and habits of the tiger. An important question we need to ask ourselves is: Why should tigers matter to the human race? Well, let’s see what we know about Tigers.
Tigers are very important to the food chain and, therefore, are absolutely vital to the health of entire ecosystems. Saving the tigers can conserve entire animal populations as well as human livelihoods. The southern belt of Nepal is known for its endangered species such as the Bengal tiger. Their survival in Asia's forests depends on clean water, clean air, natural flood controls and other forest resources vital to human welfare and development.
Adult tigers are solitary animals that, at most times, keep separate from other tigers and will leave scent marks throughout their territories to indicate their presence and occupancy. Although the scent is a form of defense, fights do occur on occasions. The tiger will spray their scent on bushes, trees, fences and will even leave scratch marks on trees. A tiger can tell whether a scent mark belongs to a familiar local resident or a stranger, a male or a female, and whether or not that female is ready for mating. Their loud vocalizations, called roars, will help them to find each other.
Tigresses may come into estrus throughout the year with a 30 day cycle. The female is receptive for about 5-7 days and during this period of time she will be extremely friendly toward the male, rubbing her body and face against the male until he attempts to mount. For the first few days, mounting attempts by the male are not successful. After this period, the pair copulates often every 15-20 minutes at a peak for five or six days.
Cubs are typically born in some quiet or isolated area carefully chosen by the tigress. Up to five or six cubs may be born at a time, but more typically it is two or three. Cubs are born blind and depend exclusively upon their mother for feeding. Suckling up to five or six months.
The tigers prefered prey is medium-sized deer and wild boar. They usually capture their prey by stalking short distances and charging the unsuspecting animal from the rear. Tigers are not always successful in every hunt, missing their prey more often than they catch it. In the wild, the life of a tiger is brief. The lifespan of known wild tigers is not more than 15 years. They often die of starvation or malnutrition, diseases, injuries inflicted during fights with other tigers or in attacks on large, dangerous prey.
Wild tigers are in crisis! There are perhaps less than 5,000 left in isolated pockets in Asia. This is due to an increasing trade in skins for use as clothing and decor, and the demand for tiger bone in traditional medicines.
The CATT Campaign carried out by WCN is very concerned with tiger conservation awareness. Its main focus is to educate populations about how to prevent the killing and trading of this big cat, because tigers are a national property and heritage.