The Tigers of Sariska

In the cradle of the Aravalis Sariska is a wonderful package! Here the wild life is intimately associated with a host of ancient destination of great cultural , historical and architectural splendor,all within Sariska medium dry deciduous forest .

Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Population in Sariska:: Between 2008 &2010 5tigers were brought from Ranthambhore out of which one has been killed by the villagers of Garh-Rajore area in the month of November 2010 through poisioning the carcass of the buffalo killed by the tiger. On 23rd of Fabruary 2011 another male tiger has been brought to Sariska from Keola Deo National Park Bharatpur and now the population has again risen to 5. Size and Physical Characteristics: The tiger (Panthera tigris)the largest among all the living wild cats of the family Felidae. It has an elongated body, short neck, and compact head with a relatively short muzzle. The legs are stout and the paws are armed with retractile claws. The total body length of an adult male tiger is between 275-290 cm and that of an adult female is 240-265 cm. The adult male tiger weighs about180-225 kg whereas the adult female weighs 135-175 kg. Tigers have a reddish-brown to rust-brown coat with black stripes and a white underbelly. Variations in coat colour occur among individuals depending largely upon climate and habitat conditions. In swampy and temperate areas the coat is darker comparing the golden in hoter areas of Sariska and Ranthambhore etc.Several decades back few White tigers were found in the forests of Riwa( Madhya Pradesh) in India. Of course these tigers have been multiplied to form a sizable population but are only confined to various zoos in India and abroad. In tiger reserve of Sundar ban also some white tigers are found.

Tiger is known for its immense power. It can bring down animals weighing almost ten times to its own weight and then dragging such kills even up to hill top in the search of a safe shelter. Mainly it preys upon sambar,chital,nilgai,hanuman langur and wild pigs. Tiger eats about 12kg of meat a day but in special circumstances it can eat even 25 kg. in a day. A kill, depending upon its size, can feed a tiger for 2 - 4 days..

Behaviour and breeding: Tiger is a solitary animal and does not live in pride like lion. It hunts by stealth. Even with this unique quality its hunting success is only 33% of the attempts it makes . Its life span in wild is around 12 to 15 years. Tiger breeding has not been a problem till date as a tigress breeds though out the year. Gestation time is 90-105 days only. It delivers 2-6 cubs. Male- female ratio is uncertain. Of course because of the humen population pressure the corridors have been encroached upon. . This has caused isolated and endemic populations . This is responsible for in breeding in almost all the reserves in India. It is definitely a matter of serious concern. To save tiger from this danger ;at one hand the left over corridors should be jealously guarded and on the other tigers should be exchanged between various tiger reserves almost on the pattern of zoo management in the country. N.T.C.A. and conservationists should persuade the state governments to cooperate generously in this programme.

Habitat and Distribution: India holds over half the world's tiger population. High order of tolerance to climatic adversities and unique quality of adoptability has taken tiger to every part of the country. Freezing cold of Himalayas to hot regions of Rajasthan like sariska and Ranthambhore tiger is not only just surviving but is breeding normally. Though referred to by experts as a "guesstimate", the 1993 all-India census estimated a total of 3,750 tigers. The figure was a sharp decline from the previous census conducted four years back only. Of these only 1,266 (34%) of the total were found within the boundaries of the then 19 Tiger reserves (There are now 32 tiger reserves in India, covering an area of over 33,000 sq km) . The current estimate of the number of tigers in India is only 1400+. Many of the tiger populations, particularly those outside protected reserves, are fragmented, heavily suffer from poaching, a dwindling prey base and over-used habitat. Tiger is undoubtedly a unique animal and is capable of replenishing its lost population provided governments show their will to protect the animal and its habitat.

copyright © Sariska Tiger foundation,Thanagazi,Alwar 2010-11