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Tigers are the largest members of the cat family and are renowned for their power and strength. The 
Tiger in Ranthambhore

A Bengal tiger Panthera tigris tigris in the wild in Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan, India.

Bengal tiger, also called the royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), is the most numerous tiger subspecies. It is the national animal of both Indiaand Bangladesh. By 2011, the total population was estimated at fewer than 2,500 individuals with a decreasing trend. None of the Tiger Conservation Landscapes within the Bengal tiger's range is considered large enough to support an effective population size of 250 adult individuals. Since 2010, it has been classified as endangered by the IUCN.

As of 2010, Bengal tiger populations in India have been estimated at 1,706–1,909. As of 2014, they had reputedly increased to an estimated 2,226 individuals, but the method used in the census may not be accurate. Bengal tigers number around 440 in Bangladesh and 163–253 in Nepal. There were previously 67–81 individuals in Bhutan. However, the latest census estimated that 103 wild Bengal tigers are living in the country. Bengal is traditionally fixed as the typical locality for the binomen Panthera tigris, to which the British taxonomist Reginald Innes Pocock subordinated the Bengal tiger in 1929 under the trinomen Panthera tigris tigris.

Population

There were eight tiger subspecies at one time, but three became extinct during the 20th century. Over the last 100 years, hunting and forest destruction have reduced tiger populations from hundreds of thousands of animals to perhaps fewer than 2,500. Tigers are hunted as trophies, and also for body parts that are used in traditional Chinese medicine. All five remaining tiger subspecies are endangered, and many protection programs are in place. Bengal tigers live in India and are sometimes called Indian tigers. They are the most common tiger and number about half of all wild tigers. Over many centuries they have become an important part of Indian tradition and lore.

Behavior

Tigers live alone and aggressively scent-mark large territories to keep their rivals away. They are powerful nocturnal hunters that travel many miles to find buffalo, deer, wild pigs, and other large mammals. Tigers use their distinctive coats as camouflage (no two have exactly the same stripes). They lie in wait and creep close enough to attack their victims with a quick spring and a fatal pounce. A hungry tiger can eat as much as 60 pounds (27 kilograms) in one night, though they usually eat less.

Despite their fearsome reputation, most tigers avoid humans; however, a few do become dangerous maneaters. These animals are often sick and unable to hunt normally, or live in an area where their traditional prey has vanished. Females give birth to litters of two to six cubs, which they raise with little or no help from the male. Cubs cannot hunt until they are 18 months old and remain with their mothers for two to three years, when they disperse to find their own territory.

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