Where Do Tigers Live?
Imagine walking through a jungle. In the shadows watching you is an animal you don't notice because it's well hidden in its surroundings. You continue on, enjoying your walk, unaware that you could have been a snack for the lurking tiger.
When you picture a tiger, you might think of it in a jungle or rainforest, but tigers are found in different kinds of habitats, or types of places where animals naturally live.
You can find tigers in:
- Mountains that are rocky
- Forests with evergreen trees
- Swamps filled with mangroves
- Hot, humid rainforests
- Open savannas
Hunting in the Tiger Habitat
Tigers are carnivorous, or meat eaters, and these big cats get very hungry. They usually grab a large dinner twice a week and hunt different animals, depending on their habitat. Some of their favorite snacks include deer, wild pigs, buffalo, wild cows, elephant calves, and rhinoceroses.
Like an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, tigers eat as much as their stomach can hold in one sitting, and then come back to nibble on their kill during the week when they're hungry.
Tigers and their prey also need water to live, like you do, so their habitats include ponds, swamps, rivers, and streams. Although they enjoy a cool, refreshing drink, tigers also use the water in their habitat to cool off, the way you take a dip in the pool on a hot summer day.
They're also great swimmers and sometimes wait for their dinner to stop for a drink so they can pounce.
Tigers don't like to hang out with other tigers very much, except for mother tigers and their cubs. Depending on their habitat and how much food is available, some tigers have areas they roam and protect, called ranges, that span many miles.
The Siberian tiger has the largest range of all tigers because it has fewer animals in its habitat, so it has to go a longer distance for food. This tiger's range has an area of about 4,000 square miles, which is about the size of the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined!
There are six types of tigers left in the wild, and they live in small parts of India, Asia, and Russia. But there used to be a lot more of them and they used to live in much larger areas before people began destroying their homes and using the land for their own use, building things like towns and farms.
People also hunt tigers, and there are less than 5,000 left in the wild. They may eventually become extinct, or disappear forever in their natural habitat. Zoos and other groups are working hard to protect tigers so that they survive.
Habitats are types of places where animals naturally live, and tigers live in different kinds of habitats in India, Asia, and Russia that include mountains, forests, mangrove swamps, rainforests, savannas, and grasslands. Tigers live alone and are carnivorous, or meat eaters, including deer, pigs, and buffalo, depending on their habitat. Tiger habitats are shrinking because people are taking over the land and hunting them, which may cause tigers to become extinct, or disappear forever in their natural habitat.
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Tiger Habitat: Discussion Questions
In this activity, you'll check your knowledge regarding the different kinds of habitats of tigers.
For this activity, print or copy this page on a blank piece of paper. Then, carefully read the given narrative and provide a written response to the questions that follow. You may use the web to search for ideas in answering the questions.
South China Tigers
The South China Tiger is a well-known species of tigers native to China. The historical range of the animal stretched over a vast landscape from north to south of China. In these areas, they frequently targeted wild boar and deer. It was considered the evolutionary ancestor of all tiger subspecies. In the past, their population in the wild was estimated to be more than 4,000 individuals. But due to repeated attacks on livestock and people, the tiger became the target for eradication. Combined with illegal hunting, habitat destruction, and trading for its fur, the eradication program became a success. Today, there has been no confirmed sighting of the species. South China tigers are now critically endangered (with only 144 captive individuals) and are possibly extinct in the wild.
- Give three types of habitats where tigers naturally live.
- What do tigers depend on their habitat?
- Why is the habitat of South China tigers considerably vast?
- Tigers are endangered for several reasons. Which of these reasons played an integral part in the declining population of South China tigers?
- Do you think captive South China tiger species should be introduced back to the wild?
- Tigers live in mountainous areas, grasslands, and humid forests.
- Tigers depend on their habitat for food and shelter.
- South China tigers, and all other species, are solitary animals and roam in vast areas to find all the resources they require to survive.
- The declining population of South China tigers is caused by human activities, such as poaching and habitat destruction.
- Yes. The species should be introduced back to their natural habitat where they could thrive and establish their population.
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