Skip to Content

Bengal Tiger: Why Is It Endangered?

Bengal tigers are the largest of all living cats. Bengal tigers have a heavy, somewhat stocky build and their round face is framed by short, thick fur. Bengal tigers vary in color from rich orange to light yellow with stripes that vary from pale gray to deep black.

Bengal Tigers are found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan as well as in parts of Russia and China too. Bengal tigers are found in lowland tropical rainforests and grasslands, where they hunt deer and wild pigs.

Bengal tigers may swim across rivers and pursue prey along the banks or lurk within reeds until prey comes close enough for a sudden lunge. Bengal tigers will also eat snakes, monkeys, birds, and even other Bengal tigers too!

Bengal Tiger

These tiger species are solitary animals and they mark their territory by scratching trees or defecating on the ground.

Bengal tigers are generally found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Lao PDR Cambodia, China (southern Yunnan), Bhutan, and northeastern parts of India.


Royal Bengal Tiger Resting in India

Each Bengal tiger establishes its own territory, which will be determined by the sex and availability of the game. Although territories will overlap, territories are usually between 15 and 30 square kilometers.

Solitary for the most part, Bengal tigers will form a temporary bond when the female is ready to mate, but she will raise the 1 to 4 cubs by herself. Cubs remain with their mothers for up to 3 years, with the females staying the longest. In the wild, Bengal tigers live approximately 8 to 10 years.

See Related: Asian Lion

Bengal Tiger Scientific Name

Bengal tigers have grown to become one of the most populous subspecies of cats on the planet right now. The majority of these tigers sport yellow to light orange coats with brown to black stripes in their belly and the limb inwards is white.

The Sanskrit term “pánd-ara“ literally means yellow pale, whitish, and white, which can also be thought to explain how the animal took its name. During the 19th century, these tigers were known as Royal Bengal tigers but The Royal was abandoned in favor of the subspecies. The subspecies is Panthera Tigeris.

Anatomy and Appearance of Bengal Tiger

Bengal White Tiger at Zoo

Bengal tigers are the world’s largest of all living cats. Bengal tigers have a heavy, somewhat stocky build and their round face is framed by short, thick fur. Bengal tigers vary in color from rich orange to light yellow with stripes that vary from pale gray to deep black.

Bengal tigers can reach 12-13 feet (3.6 m) long with a tail length that is about 3 feet (1 m) long. Bengal Tiger cubs weigh 4-5 pounds (2 kg) at birth while Bengal tiger mothers weigh around 300 pounds (140 kg).

See Related: The Importance of Wildlife Conservation


The majority of Bengal tigers are found in India, but their range also extends into Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar. The greatest numbers of these tigers are in scattered locations in India.

Formerly, the range of this tiger included nearly all of the subcontinent and the entirety of Bangladesh and Bhutan, and most of Nepal and Myanmar. The tiger population was found in the Sundarbans mangrove swamp between India and Bangladesh.

Bengal Tiger Habitat

Bengal Tiger at Royal Bardia National Park

Bengal tigers are Bangladesh’s “National Animal” and the country’s national animal. Bengal tigers can be found in eastern and central India as well as the lowland forests of Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. Bengal tigers may also be found in parts of Nepal, China, Russia, and other countries.

Bengal Tigers are the largest of all living cats and their round face is framed by short, thick fur. Bengal Tigers live primarily in lowland tropical rainforests and grasslands.

They can also be found near marshes, rivers, and other types of wetlands where they hunt water buffalo, wild boar, and other animals found near water sources. These wild tigers can also be found in dense forests but they have been confined to small protected wildlife corridors and areas in the Bengal region of India and Nepal.

The Bengal tiger is a famous animal that lives in the Indian Subcontinent and southern China. They also live in Russia, where they feed on wild boar, sika deer, and other animals that reside in marshy lowland forests.

See Related: List of Endangered Deer Species

Bengal Tiger Diet and Nutrition

Bengal Tiger Yawning

Bengal tigers are omnivores and will eat anything from meat to vegetation. Bengal tigers will eat a wide variety of dietary components and Bengal tigers do not have to prey on other animals.

These wild tiger species can survive completely off of vegetation, which Bengal tigers primarily eat at the beginning and end of the year when deer and other ungulates are scarce. Bengal Tigers will consume about 85 pounds (38 kilograms) in one meal.

Bengal tigers are predators that sneak up on their prey to catch them off guard, Bengal tigers use their immense stealth to pick off an animal without sounding the alarm.

Bengal tigers are adaptable omnivores that can subsist on a wide range of prey, from tiny rodents to large ungulates, depending on what is accessible. Bengal tigers seldom drink water because they are able to obtain the bulk of their hydration from the moisture in their meals. It’s possible for them to go weeks without drinking water.

Bengal Tigers are built for Bengal tiger hunting and Bengal tigers have very thick skin to protect themselves against bites or scratches by other animals. Bengal tigers have large, padded paws that allow Bengal tigers to silently stalk prey.

The diet of a Bengal tiger consists largely of deer, wild pigs, and Bengal tiger cubs. In addition to large animals such as buffalo, antelope, and occasionally Bengal tigers, Bengali tigers have been known to consume each other. Bengal Tigers have been documented dining on their own kind on occasion.

See Related: Facts About Conservation

Bengal Tiger Mating Habits

Closeup of a White Bengal Tiger

The Bengal tiger is a beautiful animal that is sadly endangered. They are the largest of all living cats and have a heavy, stocky build. Bengal tigers’ mating habits are interesting. The typical mating season for a Bengal tiger is January to March.

However, Bengal tigers can mate at any time of year. Tigers mate for life, so once a pair has bonded, they will stick together During mating season, the male Bengal tiger will find a female Bengal tiger and court her by following her, rubbing on trees with his scent, urinating on them, and leaving Bengal tiger claw marks on the bark.

Bengal tigers also release odors that are attractive to partners. Bengal tigers can mate many times throughout the mating season, so there may be several dads of one Bengal tiger cub. During the mating season, Bengal tigers will have a higher energy level and may consume up to 70 pounds of meat in a single night!

Bengal Tiger Cubs Bengal tiger cubs are born blind and weigh about 1 pound. Mothers of Bengal tigers give birth in secluded lairs that they construct, with the average being between two and four cubs. A Bengal tiger litter size of 2 is most common, but there have been instances of Bengal tiger litters with up to 6 Bengal tiger cubs in them! Bengal tigers are born pure white for camouflage purposes.

Bengal Tiger Reproduction, Babies and Lifespan

In the wild, a Bengal tiger’s lifespan is 15 years longer. If diseases are kept in check, a Bengal tiger will live for 20 to 25 years in captivity. Between 6 and 18 months pregnant, adolescent Bengals typically have intercourse.

Twice as many Bengalis are born. Baby babies frequently share food with their mother for around two or three years, during which she is not in heat. Newborn tigers revive their mothers for approximately three months to six months and begin eating solid meals aged 2 months old. Bengal tigers have milk teeth, which are replaced with adult teeth at birth.

The tiger cubs are completely developed by the age of three to four years old, but they may continue to live with their moms for up to six years while Bengal tiger cubs rely on their parents for protection. Bengal tigers mature quickly, reaching sexual maturity in about two or three years and living up to 20 years in captivity.

See Related: These Are 16 of the Strongest Animals in the World

Tiger populations

Close Up of a Bengal Tiger

Although three subspecies perished during the 20th century, five remain today. These remaining five species are at risk and a number of conservation efforts have been established. Bengal tigers are the most numerous type of tiger, accounting for approximately half of all wild tigers.

Tigers are sought after as trophies and for their parts in ancient Chinese cuisine. They’ve grown to be an important component of Indian culture, but hunting and forest devastation have resulted in tiger populations plummeting significantly over the last decades.

See Related: How Do Animals Adapt to their Environment?

Bengal Tiger Facts

Here are some fun facts to know about this amazing species:

  • The Bengal Tiger is the most common tiger and is found in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh.
  • Bengal tigers have a heavy build and their fur can be orange light yellow or pale gray with black stripes.
  • Bengal tigers live in lowland tropical rainforests and grasslands where they prey on deer and wild pigs.
  • Bengal Tiger Diet Bengal tigers prey on ungulates such as deer and wild pigs.
  • Bengal tigers do not depend on anyone species for food but rely on a variety of different types of prey that are widely distributed.
  • Bengal tiger prey includes sambar, spotted deer, muntjac, chital, mouse deer, porcupine, wild boar, gaur, water buffalo, nilgai, and young Asian elephants.
  • Bengal tigers are major predators of other Bengal tiger species too. Bengal tigers have been documented preying on Bengal tigress kittens that are just a few weeks old.
  • Bengal Tiger Behavior Bengal tigers live alone except when they are mating or with their cubs.
  • Bengal tigers are excellent swimmers and can remain underwater for several minutes.
  • Bengal tigers hunt at night but may also be active during the day, especially in cooler climates.
  • Bengal tiger prey is detected by sight and sound, and Bengal tigers rely on vigilance to detect potential prey from a distance.
  • Bengal tigers stalk their prey until the victim is exhausted and unable to escape.
  • Bengal tigers then leap on the prey and knock it to the ground with their front paws.
  • Bengal tigers bite through the jugular of their prey in order to kill it immediately.
  • Bengal Tiger Reproduction Bengal tigers tend to mate in November and December and females usually give birth between April and June after a gestation period of about 103 days.
  • Bengal tigers are excellent swimmers and can remain underwater for several minutes.
  • Bengal tigers mate several times per year if they have sufficient food available to them or until they produce at least two cubs.

See Related: Does PETA Kill Animals?

Conservation Status

Bengal Tiger Resting on Grass


Tigers have always been hunted as trophy animals for their pelts and the supposed medicinal value of their body parts. Although Bengal tigers have protected status over the entirety of their range, poaching continues to take a toll on these magnificent cats.

Initially, protection helped the numbers of tigers to remain steady. Still, the demands of traditional Chinese medicine, which has been growing in recent years, are once again making inroads into their numbers.

Additionally, the tigers in the Sundarbans are now under pressure from rising sea levels because of climate change. As human populations in India and nearby countries continue to rise, tigers are also subject to habitat destruction.

Conservation efforts

Quite a few organizations are dedicated to saving Bengal tigers, including the World Wildlife Fund and Save the Tigers. Reforestation will help give tigers more access to prey animals, reducing the chances of human-tiger conflict to increase tiger populations for tiger conservation.

Anti-poaching patrols to stop tiger poaching can also prevent Bengal tigers from winding up in a bottle on a pharmacy shelf in Beijing.

See Related: Ways to Save Animals Facing Extinction



Panthera logo

Panthera is an American-based organization. Their main focus is to conserve the world’s largest wild cats, including the royal Bengal Tiger, by supporting research and education programs in different countries.

Final Thoughts

Bengal Tiger in the Wild

The Bengal tiger is the biggest of all living cats. The round face of a Bengal tiger is framed by short, thick fur. Bengal tigers come in a variety of colors, ranging from deep orange to light yellow with stripes that range from pale gray to dark black.

Bengal tigers are distributed in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and parts of Russia and China. Bengal tigers live in the ground, like grass. They eat deer and pigs. Tigers are strong animals that live on earth.

See Related: Endangered Species in West Virginia


When was the Bengal tiger classified as endangered?

Bengal tigers were classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2008.

Bengal tigers are at the top of the food chain with an unending appetite for deer, wild pigs, and many other species. If this is true, why has the Bengal tiger been deemed endangered?

It has been happening for quite some time now – their population is diminishing, mostly due to human activities such as livestock farming and habitat destruction.

Sometimes live near people’s homes or within villages where they can be killed or easily captured for use in rituals. Bengal tigers are often killed because protecting crops is more important than saving its life.

How did the Bengal tiger get to this point?

Some tigers are at risk of going extinct because their natural habitat is being destroyed by logging and other development.

The primary reason Bengal tigers are going extinct is due to human activities such as woodcutting. This has greatly reduced the Bengal tigers’ natural habitat, putting them in danger.

In other words, Bengal Tigers that need a specific type of environment or prey to survive often become endangered when that appropriate habitat is no longer available for them – giving way to farmers and developers taking it away from them.

In some areas, the Bengal Tiger populations have decreased by an alarming 95% over the last hundred years! Scientists believe there may not be any more than 1,400 Bengal Tigers remaining in the wild.

What is the Bengal tiger’s habitat and diet during the day and night?

Bengal tigers are found in India, Bengal tigers live primarily in lowland tropical rainforests and grasslands where their diet is primarily meat-based. Bengal Tiger Diet consists of almost 80% of vertebrates like deer, pigs, sambar deer, buffalo, etc. These tiger species were also nocturnal wild beasts.

What is the other tiger species?

The other tiger species is the Siberian Tiger which can be found mainly in Eastern Russia where they are very difficult to spot because of how dense the forest is there.

The primary distribution range for Siberian Tigers is within the Russian Far East, the Amur River basin of China, and along the coastline of the Sea of Japan.

What is the Bengal Tiger Behavior?

Bengal Tigers are solitary animals, so it is normal for Bengal Tigers to have a large territory. Bengal Tiger territories vary in size from as little as 2-5 miles to as much as 40 miles! Bengal tigers often travel 10+ miles a day looking for food and might return repeatedly to old kill sites.

Bengal Tigers usually hunt alone, but several Bengal tigers may work together to achieve a successful hunt. Bengal Tigers stalk their prey until they’re within a few feet before attempting a final attack.

Bengal Tigers typically consume about 30 pounds of meat at one time because Bengal tigers can eat up to 80% of their body weight in one meal.

What are the Bengal Tigers’ Threats?

Bengal tigers are threatened by loss of habitat, poaching, and shrinking prey populations. Bengal Tigers are hunted for their body parts which are used in traditional Asian medicines.

Bengal Tigers live primarily in lowland tropical rainforests where they prey on ungulates such as deer and wild pigs. Bengal tigers vary in color from rich orange to light yellow with stripes that vary from pale gray to deep black.

Bengal Tigers face threats including loss of habitat, poaching, and shrinking prey populations because they’re hunted for their body parts which are used in traditional Asian medicines.

Did the Bengal tiger go extinct?

The Bengal tiger has not gone extinct. Bengal tigers are currently considered endangered by both the IUCN and even though their population is declining quickly, they still exist in the wild today.

Is the Bengal tiger endangered?

Bengal tigers are not classified as endangered species. Bengal tigers hold the largest number of Bengal Tigers in the wild with approximately 100 Bengal Tigers in southern Asia and 50 Bengal Tigers left in Assam’s Manas National Park.

It is predicted that one day, there may be only 100 Bengal Tigers left on Earth and India is doing its best to save them- ensuring that their numbers don’t dwindle anymore. Bengal Tigers are found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan as well as parts of Russia and China.

Why do Bengal tigers hunt Bengal tigers?

Bengal tigers hunt Bengal tigers in order to protect their territory and find food.
Hunting is typically done at night when it is cooler and Bengal tigers suck up water through their stomachs and then can go for weeks without drinking again.

Bengal Tigers are endangered because they have been reduced in number due to diseases, hunting, cattle grazing, habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching of adults and cubs, the punitive killing of “people-tigers.”

Especially outside protected areas such as national parks where humans enter illegally with firearms or traps; It’s rare that we even hear about any saved Bengal Tigers.

Who saves Bengal Tigers?

Some Bengal Tigers are found outside of protected areas and the Bengal Tiger is also threatened by smuggling for illegal trade, deforestation, loss of prey base, and retaliatory killings.

Continued threat to the Bengal Tiger has led WWF to include it on their list of extinct animals. WWF works with governmental agencies, other NGOs, international organizations, and local community networks to raise awareness against poaching which is one of the most urgent threats facing Bengal Tigers today.

Other Species Profiles

Related Resources