Thursday 25 August 2011

Tiger Habitat

We have intruded upon the tiger's habitat for the past 100 years. We have squeezed the tiger from its habitat. We have given some of it back in the form of tiger reserves where sometimes you will be lucky to see a tiger. Tigers go missing in the reserves and are poached. The tiger's body is more valuable dead than alive.

Students sometimes visit PoC for information about the wildcats. The tiger is the best known wildcat and its habitat is the most important aspect of all the topics that are associated with the tiger. Without space and a place to live in the tiger cannot exist.

Students probably like to look for clear, black and white answers to questions about the tiger's habitat. For example, "What is the tiger habitat?" Answer: Jungle. No, that is incorrect. The tiger is, and has to be, very adaptable as to the kind of environment that it finds acceptable.

The tiger has learned to live in the snow over 4,000 feet above sea level in the Himalayan foothills of Bhutan. It has also adapted to living in the mangrove swamps of the Sunderbans in Bangladesh. These join the sea. The tiger is a great swimmer and likes water. It can swim for miles in sea water.

In Siberia, the Siberian tiger lives in birchwood forests with deep snow underfoot and in temperatures as low as -40ÂșC. This really is at the opposite end of the environmental spectrum to steamy Sumatra, where the Sumatran tiger is found.

OK, point made. The tiger habitat is very variable. On the whole though the Bengal tiger lives in tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests. To a lesser extent the Bengal tiger lives in temperate and broadleaf mixed forest. The third most common type is tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forest.

The tiger is a forest dweller and a good climber although less good than themargay and clouded leopard. Its high contrast conspicuous coat looks out of place on the open plains but in forest and in dappled sunlight, it is perfect.

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