Panthera tigris tigris
Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) at animal rehabilitation center in Miami, Florida.
The Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is a tiger subspecies native to the Indian subcontinent that in 2010 has been classified as endangered by IUCN. The total population is estimated at fewer than 2,500 individuals with a decreasing trend, and none of the Tiger Conservation Landscapes within the Bengal tiger's range is large enough to support an effective population size of 250 adult individuals. The Bengal tiger is the most numerous tiger subspecies with populations estimated at 1,520–1,909 in India, 440 in Bangladesh, 124–229 in Nepal and 67–81 in Bhutan. Bengal is traditionally fixed as the typical locality for the binomial Panthera tigris, to which the British taxonomist Reginald Innes Pocock subordinated the Bengal tiger in 1929 under the trinomial Panthera tigris tigris. Panthera tigris is also the national animal of India. The Bengal tiger's coat is yellow to light orange, with stripes ranging from dark brown to black; the belly and the interior parts of the limbs is white, and the tail is white with black rings. Male Bengal tigers had a total length, including the tail, from 270 to 310 cm (110 to 120 in), while females range from 240 to 265 cm (94 to 104 in). Tails are 85 to 110 cm (33 to 43 in) long, and height at the shoulders is 90 to 110 cm (35 to 43 in). The head and body length of three males captured in Nagarahole National Park ranged from 189 to 204 cm (74 to 80 in), with a tail length of 100 to 107 cm (39 to 42 in), while a single female measured 161 cm (63 in), with a tail length of 87 cm (34 in). The average weight of males is 221.2 kg (488 lb), while that of females is 139.7 kg (308 lb). Males captured in Chitwan National Park in the early 1970s had an average weight of 235 kg (520 lb) ranging from 200 to 261 kg (440 to 580 lb), and that of the females was 140 kg (310 lb) ranging from 116 to 164 kg (260 to 360 lb). Males from the northern India are as large as Siberian tigers with a greatest length of skull of 332 to 376 mm (13.1 to 14.8 in). The white tiger is a recessive mutant of the Bengal tiger, which was reported in the wild from time to time in Assam, Bengal, Bihar and especially from the former State of Rewa. There is only one fully authenticated case of a true albino tiger, and none of black tigers, with the possible exception of one dead specimen examined in Chittagong in 1846. In the Indian subcontinent, tigers inhabit tropical moist evergreen forests, tropical dry forests, tropical and subtropical moist deciduous forests, mangroves, subtropical and temperate upland forests, and alluvial grasslands. Latter tiger habitat once covered a huge swath of grassland and riverine and moist semi-deciduous forests along the major river system of the Gangetic and Brahmaputra plains, but has now been largely converted to agriculture or severely degraded. Today, the best examples of this habitat type are limitated to a few blocks at the base of the outer foothills of the Himalayas including the Tiger Conservation Units (TCUs) Rajaji-Corbett, Bardia-Banke, and the transboundary TCUs Chitwan-Parsa-Valmiki, Dudhwa-Kailali and Sukla Phanta-Kishanpur. Tiger densities in these blocks are high, in part a response to the extraordinary biomass of ungulate prey. (credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengal_tige...)