Weight of the Bengal tiger

(Panthera tigris tigris)
Scientific and reliable hunting records
By Raúl A. Valvert L.
Guatemala, April 2015.

Males:
Central Indian Landscape, India:
Average
Sample
Range
Location
Reference
(kg)
size
216
190.5 – 255
6
Hunter, 1896.
190.5
160 – 234
42
Kanha NP Brander, 1923.

197
1
21st Century Tiger, 2014.
245
240 – 250
2
Panna TR Chundawat & Malik, 2010; Pers. Comm. 2009.
Total average: 212 kg. n=51. Range: 160 – 255 kg.

Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, southwest India:
Average
Sample
Range
Location
(kg)
size
217
209 – 227
3
Nagarahole NP
216
206 – 226
2


224.5
1

Total average: 218 kg. n=6. Range: 206 – 227 kg.

The Sundarbans:
Average
Sample
Range
Location
(kg)
size

172
1

150
1
India
103
97 – 115
3
Total average: 126 kg. n=5. Range: 97 – 172 kg.

Reference
Karanth, 1993.
Meinertzhagen, 1957.
Hornaday, 1904.

Reference
Burton, 1933.
Chattopadhyay & Banerjee, 2008.
Mukherjee, 2011.

Chitwan NP, Nepal:
Average: 221 kg. n=7. Range: 184 – 260 kg. Reference: Smith et al., 1983; Sunquist, 1981.
Northeast India:
Average: 205 kg. n=44. Range: 168 – 236 kg. Reference: Brown, 1893; Cooch Behar, 1908.
Kumaon-Terai, India:
Average: 209 kg. n=16. Range: 170 – 259 kg. Reference: Hewett, 1938.
Hyderabad, India:
Average: 182 kg. n=9. Range: 150 – 203 kg. Reference: Burton, 1917.

Total average: 196 kg. n=7 populations or 138 specimens.
208 kg. n=6 populations or 133 specimens (without The Sundarbans population).

Females:
Central Indian Landscape, India:
Average
Sample
Range
Location
(kg)
size
133.4
122 – 145
2

131.5
124 – 156
39
Kanha NP

130
1

145
1
Pench TR
117.5
115 – 120
2
Panna TR
Total average: 131 kg. n=45. Range: 115 – 156 kg.

The Sundarbans:
Average
Sample
Range
(kg)
size
77.5
75 – 80
4

109
1

72
1
Total average: 82 kg. n=6. Range: 72 – 109 kg.

Reference
Hunter, 1896.
Brander, 1923.
21st Century Tiger, 2014.
Majumder et al., 2012.
Chundawat & Malik, 2010.

Location
Bangladesh
India

Reference
Barlow, 2009.
Burton, 1933.
Mukherjee, 2011.

Chitwan NP, Nepal:
Average: 130 kg. n=19. Range: 102 – 150 kg. Reference: Smith et al., 1983; Sunquist, 1981.
Sariska NP, India:
Average: 149 kg. n=3. Range: 135 – 170 kg. Reference: Sinha, 2008; Sinha, 2009; Sebastian, 2010.
Northeast India:
Average: 141 kg. n=11. Range: 118 – 163 kg. Reference: Cooch Behar, 1908.
Kumaon-Terai, India:
Average: 136 kg. n=8. Range: 113 – 157 kg. Reference: Hewett, 1938.
Hyderabad, India:
Average: 122.5 kg. n=11. Range: 109 – 150 kg. Reference: Burton, 1917.

Total average: 127 kg. n=7 or 103 specimens.
135 kg. n=6 populations or 97 specimens (without The Sundarbans population).
Notes:
The figures from Chitwan NP and those from Karanth (1993) were adjusted for stomach content (235
kg for males and 140 kg for females, in the original figure of the Chitwan specimens).
The population of Northeast India (Cooch Behar, 1908) doesn’t include any “gorged” or “full of beef”
specimen.
The specimens from the Sundarbans (males and females) were not baited and most of them were
frail, underweight in even incapable to hunt (Barlow, 2009, Mukherjee, 2011).
Although this collection includes all the weights recorded for females (except for a specimen of 177
kg captured in Nagarahole NP; Karanth, 1993), it doesn’t includes several weights from male
specimens in literature, because some of them don’t states clearly the area where they were hunted.

Measurements of one of the heaviest tigers captured by scientist:
Identification: M-105, A.K.A. “Sauraha male”.
Total length: 310 cm in straight line.
Head-body length: 197 cm.
Chest girth: 140 cm.
Neck girth: 80 cm.
Canines:
o Upper pair: 6.5 cm.
o Lower pair: 5.5 mm.
Weight: 260 kg “empty belly”.
Location: Chitwan NP, Nepal.
Note: This male bottomed the scales used by Sunquist (1981)
[500 lb] and Dinerstein (2009) [600 lb], it was probably baited
during its captures. Taking in count that the actual food intake
for Nepalese tigers in one day is between 14-19 kg (Sunquist,
1981) and that the scale of Dr Dinerstein could be bottomed by
5 to 10 kg, the weight “empty belly” for these large male was no
less than c.260 kg. The figure of 261 kg presented by Smith et
al. (1983) was obtained based in a chest-girth – weight
regression equation.
Source: Dr Mel Sunquist, personal communication 2010; Dr
Eric Dinerstein, personal communication 2009.
Picture of tiger M105, captured in Chitwan NP. © Fiona and Mel Sunquist.

• Size and weight of the Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris):
By Raúl A. Valvert L.
Guatemala, April 2015.
The following tables present a general comparison between the different populations of tigers studied by scientists in the Indian subcontinent. In the
case of the specimens that were captured with the baiting system, the figures presented in the tables were adjusted for stomach content.

Table 1. Size of the male Bengal tiger.
Males ♂
n
7
3

Body mass (kg)
Min.
Max.
184
260
209
227

3

197

Sariska TR, India

1

The Sundarbans

4

Location
Chitwan NP, Nepal
Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve
Central Indian Landscape
(Panna and Kanha)

Total length (cm)
Min.
Max.
Mean
292
310
301
289
311
298

Reference

Mean
221
217

n
2
3

250

229

Karanth, 1993; Sunquist & Sunquist, 2002.
Chundawat, in lit., 2005; Chundawat Pers.
Comm. 2009; 21st Century Tiger, 2014.

220

Sinha, 2008.

97

150

115

3

252

261

255

Smith et al., 1983; Sunquist, 1981.

Chattopadhyay & Banerjee, 2008; Mukherjee,
2011.

Table 2. Size of the female Bengal tiger.
Females ♀
Location
Chitwan, Nepal
Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve
Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam
Tiger Reserve
Central Indian Landscape

n
19
2

Body mass (kg)
Min.
Max.
102
150
102
177

Mean
130
139.5

n
5
2

Total length (cm)
Min.
Max.
Mean
251
282
266
248
260
254

Reference
Smith et al., 1983; Sunquist, 1981.
Karanth, 1993; Express News Service, 2014.

1

150

1

236

4

115

145

127.5

Chundawat, in lit., 2005; Majumder et al.,
2012; 21st Century Tiger, 2014.

Sariska TR, India

3

135

170

149

Sinha, 2008; 2009; Sebastian 2010.

The Sundarbans

5

72

80

76

3

228

239

234

(Panna, Kanha and Pench)

Messias, 2001.

Barlow et al., 2006; Barlow, 2009; Mukherjee,
2011.

The heaviest male tigers (M-105 & M-126) weighed 272 kg+ and latter estimated to weight c.260 kg “empty belly” (they bottomed the scale of 600 lb
used by the scientists), and were captured in Chitwan NP, Nepal (Dinerstein, 2003; Pers. Comm. 2009); meanwhile the heaviest female (T-02)
weighed 177 kg and was captured in the Nagarahole NP, at the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve (Karanth, 1993). Based in these populations, it seems
that the Bengal tiger have little variation in body mass in mainland, but is greater in the population of The Sundarbans. It can be calculated that the
average weight for an adult tiger in mainland is of 222.3 kg (n=13) for the males and 136.5 kg (n=28) for the females. Sadly, all the specimens
captured from The Sundarbans were frail, underweight and some of them incapable to hunt (Barlow, 2009, Mukherjee, 2011). Previous studies
suggested that this last population could be a different subspecies (Barlow et al., 2010), however new evidence states that Sundarbans tigers are
closely related with Central Indian tigers, thus they belong to this subspecies (Mukherjee, 2013).

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful