Tigers need to kill 50-60 large prey animals per year.

Tigers need to kill 50-60 large prey animals per year. As such, availability of a sufficient prey base of large ungulates is the tiger’s major habitat requirement. Wild boar (Sus scrofa) and deer of various species are the two prey types that make up the bulk of the tiger’s diet, and, in general, tigers require a good population of these species in order to survive and reproduce.

Tigers are opportunistic predators, however, and their diet includes birds, fish, rodents, insects, amphibians, and reptiles in addition to other mammals such as primates and porcupines. Tigers can also take ungulate prey much larger than themselves, including large bovids, such as wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee), gaur (Bos gaurus), and banteng (Bos javanicus), and even Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and rhinos, rhinos, leopards (Panthera pardus), and bears. However, like many large carnivores, preferred prey are key to successful reproduction and are those species that are approximately the same weight as tigers, themselves.

Image | © Skeeze, Some Rights Reserved, Pixabay
Sources | (Karanth, Kumar, Nichols, Link, & Hines, 2006; Goodrich et al., 2015; Hayward, Jedrzejewski, & Jedrzewska, 2012; Larson, 2006; Miller et al., 2013; Nowell & Jackson, 1996; Sunquist & Sunquist, 2002; World Animal Foundation, Tiger, Tiger Fact Sheet)

Learn More About the Tiger


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