The importance of Predators and Tigers on the Asian Ecosystem

Predators are important for a healthy ecosystem, they eliminate vulnerable prey like sick, injured, old etc.  They are an important part of the process of controlling prey population by removing sick animals and thus, controlling the prey population. Predators also help to reduce the negative effects on their prey on a specific area. They keep grazing animals on their toes and force them to graze in more than one area. By applying pressure on the prey population, trees, plants, bushes and grasses have more opportunity for growth spurs which is helpful for providing habitat for other species, less intensive of the vegetation.

Tigers are one of the predators who play a major role in maintenance of biodiversity in their environment. Tigers live in areas where dense foliage and prey exist. In a research by Sea world and Bush Gardens Animal Information Database, they found tigers in forests, grasslands, woodlands and rocky country. They are present throughout Asia countries such as India, Russia, Bangladesh and other areas as well. The tiger is considered the world’s largest cat and there is nine subspecies which six of them still exist to this day. The largest tigers can weight up to 600 pounds and measure up to 10 feet. They can survive up to 26 years in wild areas. Cubs stay with their mothers for two years approximately, the are born blind and only open their eyes 2 weeks after birth.  Young cubs start learning to hunt around 6 months of age and will continue to learn until they are almost 2 years.  Their favorite hunting method is stalk and ambush.  After spotting a prey, they lie low in wait slowly creeping towards their prey until they are close enough to pounce on them.  They typically knock their prey to the ground using their body weight and kill them with a bite to the neck.

Adult tigers live generally alone and unlike most other cats, they are great swimmers and actually like water.  They communicate with other tigers using a combination of scent marks, visual signals and lots of roars, growls, snarls, moans, mews and hisses.

Did you know that tigers have antiseptic saliva? They will lick themselves clean and will focus on a wound in order to prevent any infection.

Why tigers matter

The tiger plays a pivotal role in the health and diversity of an ecosystem. It is a top predator which is at the apex of the food chain and keeps the population of wild ungulates in check, thereby maintaining the balance between prey herbivores and the vegetation upon which they feed.

The presence of tigers in the forest is an indicator of the well-being of the ecosystem. 

Therefore, it’s not just about saving a beautiful animal. It is about making sure that we live a little longer as the forests are known to provide ecological services like clean air, water, pollination, temperature regulation etc.

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