Awely des tigres et des hommes Tigers and People

What are the feeding habits of the tiger?

30 June 2015

As a large carnivore, the tiger spends most of its time searching for food. It’s an opportunistic animal, which mainly likes feeding on a range of medium-sized species such as deer and wild pigs (weighing between 50 and 200 kg).

The tiger is also able to hunt animals much bigger than itself, such as large bovines (buffalo and Asian gaur), and sometimes even small elephants or rhino. They feed on smaller prey too, such as birds, fish, rodents, reptiles, monkeys or porcupines. This predator mainly hunts by night and at dusk, hiding in undergrowth and waiting for the best moment to attack its prey.

In order to kill their prey, the feline usually pounces onto the back of small and medium-sized animals, biting into the neck, which breaks as they fall to the ground. If the prey survives or is bigger, the tiger then attacks the throat, stopping circulation and breathing. It can then carry or drag the carcass for several hundreds of metres.

The tiger is an apex predator, which needs to kill between 50 and 60 large prey animals a year to survive and reproduce. Therefore, maintaining the biodiversity of their habitat is essential to protecting these big cats from extinction. This has been part of our work in Nepal since 2009.

The Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve is suffering as a result of pressure from human populations. In order to limit the environmental impact of people who make a living using the natural resources that constitute the tigers’ habitat, we offer them alternative activities that can still guarantee reasonable economic stability for themselves and their families.

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