Best Tiger Habitats in India and Nepal
Generally, an ‘animal habitat’ is defined as an area where animals naturally choose to live or in more simpler words, a place in nature which they call home. Each species, including animals and plants, prefer to have their own specific habitat that displays certain characteristics and boasts particular features that cater to the needs of that animal. Likewise, Tigers have most commonly found their habitats in:
- Evergreen forests
- Swampy mangrove forests
- Tropical rainforests
India has one of the best tiger habitats is also one of the last places where tigers can still be seen in the wild. A century ago, the world tiger population was estimated to be 100,000 and nearly half of the world’s tigers lived in India. By 1960’s, that number had shrunk to only 4,000. This had further reduced to 1,700 in 2011 before stabilizing and increasing its count to 2,226 in 2015.
With home to 70 percent of the world’s tiger population, India boasts of some of the best tiger habitats spread from the northern Terai region in Dudhwa and Corbett, to green dense forests in Bandipur, Nagarhole, and Periyar, from the tropical dry deciduous Ranthambore to the world’s largest mangrove forest of Sundarbans, from the evergreen rainforests of Namdapha and savannahs of Kaziranga to the bamboo rich central Indian highlands of Bandhavgarh and Kanha.
At Nepal, sightseeing of tigers is no easy feat, but Chitwan and Bardia National Parks are the best places to see tigers in Nepal. Both reserves can be explored on foot, canoe, and as well as on jeep. Chitwan, which is an 8 hrs drive from Kathmandu is widely known for its leopard, sloth bear and over 500 one-horned rhinoceros. Bardia, which is located more remotely towards western Nepal requires an adventurer’s zeal to explore it. It is expected that Nepal will double its tiger population from 121 in 2009 to over 250 tigers by 2018. The last census which was done in 2013 had recorded a total of 198 tigers in Nepal (120 Royal Bengal Tigers in Chitwan, 50 in Bardiya, 17 in Shuklaphanta, 7 in Parsa and 4 in Banke)