Black tigers

Black tigers


Black tigers have been recorded only in the Similipal Tiger Reserve in Odisha.


GS-03 (Conservation)

Black tigers:

  • Black tigers are rare colour variants of the tiger. They are not a distinct species or geographic subspecies.
  • They are melanistic tigers that have distinctive dark stripe patterns.
  • They are Bengal tigers with a gene mutation with stripes so thick and close together that the tawny background is barely visible between the stripes.
  • As per the 2022 cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation, 16 individuals were recorded at Similipal Tiger Reserve, out of which 10 were melanistic.
  • 37% of the tiger population in the Simlipal National Park, has this condition, which has been linked to isolation and inbreeding.
  • Black tigers were first officially recorded in the forests of Similipal in 1975-76.

Simlipal Biosphere Reserve, National Park, Tiger Reserve:

  • It is located in the Eastern Ghats.
  • The reserve is listed in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
  • It lies within two biogeographical regions:
    • Mahanadian coastal region of the Oriental realm
    • Chhotanagpur biotic province of the Deccan peninsular zone
  • The vegetation around the park is Moist and dry deciduous forests and grasslands.
  • Major Fauna: Bengal tigers, wild elephants, gaurs (Indian bison), chausingha.
  • Major Avifauna: Hill myna and crested serpent eagle.