Tuesday, June 1, 2010

TIGER | Panthera tigris

Direct sighting is rare but pug marks can be often seen near the waterholes, lack shore, stream side and on the forest roads.
Scientific name : Panthera tigris

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. tigris
Binomial name: Panthera tigris

Local names : Kaduva, Puli, Varayan puli.

Habitat : Evergreen forest, moist deciduous forest, dry deciduous forest and shoal grass lands.

Distribution : Distributed all over Kerala in the forests.

Indirect evidences : Pug marks, scats, kill and claw marks on trees.

Faecal matters : Scats will be larger in size compared to that of leopard. Usually with hairs and bones of prey animals and with foul smell when it is fresh. Often difficult to distinguish with that of a leopard unless confirmed by the presence of pug marks nearby.

Colour : Black to grey.

Size (Diameter) : Size ranges from 35 mm to 44 mm.

Pug marks : Bigger than the leopard pug mark. The pug mark of a tiger cub is always with that of an adult tiger. This often helps to identify a leopard from the tiger. Sex of the tiger can be distinguished by looking at the shape of the pug mark. If the length and breadth measurements shows a square shape it will be of a male tiger and a rectangle shape, indicates a female.

Kills : kill are characterized with an intact stomach. The remaining portoin of the prey after feeding id left in the same place and return for the meat the next day. But, some times kills are dragged and hidden under vegetation. The mode if fedding from the rear of the prey has given the tiger the title ‘the ugly feeder’.

Claw marks : Very rare but can be seen on the bark of trees.
Where to look for the indirect evidences: Pug marks are found in dusty Soils near the forest road in the mud on the side of rivulets or water holes.

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