Tigers: Living on the Edge Quick Facts


The Bengal tiger is found primarily in India with smaller populations in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Burma. It is the most numerous of all tiger sub-species with around 1,850 left in the wild. The creation of tiger reserves in the 1970s helped to stabilise numbers but poaching in recent years inside the reserves has once again put the Bengal tiger at risk.

Key Facts

·         Common names

Bengal tiger, Indian tiger; Tigre du Bengal (Fr); Tigre de Bengal (Sp)

·         Scientific Name

Panthera tigris tigris

·         status

·         Population

Around 1,850 individuals

·         Habitat

Dry and wet deciduous forests, grassland and sal forests and temperate forests, mangrove forests

·         Weight

Around 250 kg

·         length

nearly 3 meters

Most numerous tiger pushed out of its home

The Bengal (Indian) tiger is the most numerous of all tiger subspecies. However, a burgeoning human population and its own needs are pushing the tiger out of its natural habitat.

Increasing human-tiger conflicts often lead to retributive killings. The tiger also faces a serious threat from poachers.

Major habitat types

Dry and wet deciduous forests, grassland and sal forests, temperate forests, mangrove forests

Biogeographic realm

Indo-Malayan

Range states

Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal

Geographical location

South Asia

Priority regions

Western Ghats

Where do Bengal tigers live?

Bengal tigers are found in a wide range of habitats in South Asia – from mountains to savannas to mangroves.

A tiger also found in mangroves

Bengal tigers mostly inhabit the dry and wet deciduous forests of central and south India, the Terai-Duar grassland and sal forests of the Himalayan foothills of India and Nepal, and the temperate forests of Bhutan.

They are also found in Bangladesh, Myanmar, and China.

The mangroves of the Sundarbans (shared between Bangladesh and India) are the only mangrove forests where tigers are found. The Sundarbans are increasingly threatened by sea-level rise as a result of climate change.

How many Bengal tigers are left?

The Bengal tiger is the most numerous subspecies, with around 1,850 individuals surviving in the wild.

India is home to the largest population, with about 1,400 tigers – although a recent government survey indicates there may be as few as 1,300. Around 150 live in Nepal. Accurate estimates are not available in other countries.

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