The tiger is the carnivore at the top of the food chain and the king of the forest. Their huge bodies are covered with black or dark brown horizontal stripes that extend all the way to the chest and abdomen, while tigers living in northern China have the longest body hair in order to withstand the severe cold because of the cold living environment. Tiger's limbs are strong and powerful, with forelimbs stronger than hind limbs. Their tails are thick and long, surrounded by black rings, and the tip is usually black.
Their habitat usually requires close proximity to water and abundant prey. Compared to lions, tigers prefer dense vegetation because its camouflage color is perfect for hiding in dense vegetation. They mainly prey on ungulates such as deer and bovids.
Adult tigers generally have their own territory and prefer to live alone, with males and females only living together during the breeding season. They establish and maintain their own territory, with female tigers generally having a territory of 20 square kilometers, while males have a larger area of 60 to 100 square kilometers. The territorial range of males often overlaps with that of several females, which facilitates their mating. Tigers have no fixed dens, and they are larger in size, so they often need large areas of habitat to support their prey requirements. It is precisely because of this that it will also cause conflicts with humans.
People always compare lions with tigers, and tigers are superior to lions in terms of strength and size, and in terms of living habits, the solitary nature of tigers makes their hunting ability far superior to lions. Tiger and lion battles usually end with the tiger winning.
Tigers were once widespread around the world, but in the past 100 years, from central and southwestern Asia, from Java and Bali, tigers have lost 93 percent of their historic territory. This is the result of habitat loss and hunting by humans. In the decade between 1997 and 2007, tigers' range has shrunk further.
Tigers have long been thought to be primarily nocturnal, but in some areas rarely visited by humans, they also hunt during the day, as observed through remote-controlled hidden cameras. They generally hunt alone and, like most felines, go to ambush their prey. They can attack their prey from any angle, using their strong body to off balance the prey. If the prey finds the tiger and runs away before hunting, they will generally give up the hunt instead of chasing and fighting the prey head-on.
According to statistics, the number of wild tigers once exceeded 100,000, but now the number outside captivity has plummeted to between 1,500 and 3,500. The main reasons include habitat destruction, and widespread poaching. According to statistics from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, India currently has the largest number of wild tigers, with about 2,200 tigers, while Vietnam and Laos have the smallest number, with about 20 tigers.
India's tiger conservation project, started with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who established tiger reserves. There, human exploitation is prohibited. The project has roughly tripled India's wild tiger population from 1,200 in 1973 to 3,500 in the 1990s. About 80% of the world's tiger population is now concentrated in India.