Ranthambore National Park is one of the largest and most popular national parks in northern India. It is renowned for best sighting of Bengal Tiger in the world. Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is described as the best wildlife reserves in India, Which is also known as best tiger friendly land. It is proudly preserves the most recognized tigers in India.
Ranthambore National Park is located at Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan and situated amidst the Aravali and Vindhya hills. In the scenery of the Ranthambore, there is a dramatic change from the soft and steep slopes of Vindhyas and the sharp and conical hills of Aravali. Ranthambore is just around 170 km away from Jaipur which is nearest airport of the Ranthambore. Nearest railway station of the Ranthambore national park is sawai madhopur which is approx 14 kilometer away from the main gate of the Park.
The unique climate and vegetation characteristics of Ranthambore have given birth to forests which are open with dry and small and brown cover. Wild animals can be easily seen on wildlife safari in this type of forest. Ranthambore is indeed a prosperous island for wild animals. There are more than 320 species of birds found in Ranthambore, including both resident and migratory. There are over 40 mammal species and more than 35 species of reptiles are found in Ranthambore National park. Ranthambore is a dry deciduous forest region, which is why there is not much species of amphibians in Ranthambore National Park. Here is information about the common species of Ranthambore and their preferred habitat.
Wild Animals in Ranthambore National Park
This is the Bengal tiger. Scientific name is Panthera tigris tigris. Tigers often live in dense covered areas in valleys and river areas. After the Siberian Tiger, Bengal Tiger is the most familiar second largest tiger subspecies.
Tiger Length: Male Tiger has an average total length of 270 to 310 cm (110 to 120 in) from nose tip to tail tip while the female tiger has total length 240 to 265 cm (94 to 104 in) on average from nose to tail. Tiger tail is usually ranges from 85 to 110 centimeters (33 to 43 inches) long.
Tiger Height: The height of the tiger is 90 to 110 cm (35 to 43 inches) at the shoulder.
Tiger Stripes: There are about 120 black stripes found on the tiger’s body.
Tiger Weight: Male tiger weight is from 180 to 260 kg, while the weight of the tigress is from 100 to 164 kilograms.
Tiger Teeth (Dentition): Tigers have extraordinary stout teeth. The tiger has 4 canines, in which there are 2 up and 2 downwards. There are 12 Incisor teeth in the tiger, in which there are 6 upside and 6 downwards. Tiger has 10 premolar teeth, in which 6 are up and 4 downwards. And 4 are molar in which 2 are up and 2 down. Thus there are total 30 teeth in the tiger. Tigers canine are significantly larger than other teeth. It is about 7.5 to 10 centimeters (3.0 to 3. 9 inches) in length.
Tiger Legs: The tiger’s hind legs are taller than the front legs. This feature enables them to leap forward distance up to 10 meters (32.5 feet).
Tiger claws: The Tiger has padded feet that enables it to hunt quietly. There are total 18 claws in Tiger paws. The length of the Tiger’s Claw is up to 10 centimeters (4 inch). There are 5 claws in each Forefoot. A special claw found in front paws which is called a dewclaw. Whereas only four claws are found in the hind paw with the dewclaw being absent. Tiger’s dew claw is placed at the height of the forefeet. Thereby when tiger walks it does not touch the ground.
Tiger Hunting and diet: Tigers are carnivores. They like to hunt big ungulates such as spotted deer, sambar deer, blue bull etc sometimes cow and water buffalo. Tiger’s best prey is Sambar deer. Tiger often consume 18–40 kilograms of meat at one time.
Tiger lifecycle: In India, the tigers do not have any definite mating and birth season. Male Tigers reach maturity at 4–5 years of age and female tigers mature at age 3-4 years. A Tiger comes into heat at intervals of about 3–9 weeks and is interested for 3–6 days.
Tiger Gestation period: The tiger’s gestation period lasts 90 to 105 days
Tiger Cubs: Female tiger can give birth to up to 5 cubs at a time, Newborn Bengal tiger cubs weigh about 780 to 1,600 gram. Their eyes and ears are closed at birth. Their milking teeth begin to erupt after 2-3 weeks after birth. And gradually permanent dental take place from 8-9 weeks of age. Cubs suckle almost for 2 months. And after two months of age, cubs are introduced to meat. Bengal Tiger cubs depend on their mother for the first 18 – 24 months and then they gradually start separating from the family group and then they make their own territory. Young male tigers move far away from his mother’s territory than young female tiger and make his territory and then, their mother gets ready for mating again.
Tiger territory: Tigers are territorial and generally prefer to live in solitary in the forests. Tigers mark their territories, they scratch on the trees and use their urine spray on bark of trees, leaves, branches and rock and overall their social system is connected through visual indications, odor mark, and vocalizations. Compared to female tiger, there is a larger territory of male tiger in Ranthambore forest. The home range of the male tiger is around 70-100 sq km while a female tigers have 20-25 sq km territory in the forest.
Tiger Age: The lifespan of tigers are about 18-25 years. The average age of tigers in the forest is 10-15 years, while in Zoo it can be up to 25 years.
it is known as Indian leopard also and scientific name is Panthera pardus fusca. Indian leopard lives in dense cover area, higher slopes and forest edge. Leopards are elusive and highly nocturnal animal and prefer to live in solitude. Leopards are known for their ability to climb, and they can be observed resting on the branches of trees during the day. They are very agile and good swimmers. They are able to leap over 20 feet horizontally and able to jump up to 9.8 feet vertically. Depending on the area, leopards may mate throughout the year. The estrous cycles of the leopards are lasts about 46 days and usually the female comes in heat in 6-7 days. Leopard’s Gestation period is lasts for 90 to 105 days. Usually 2-4 cubs are born in a litter. Cubs live with their mother for 18 to 24 months. The average lifespan of a leopard in the wild is between 12 and 17 years.
It is a medium-sized cat, scientific name is Felis chaus. It is also called swamp cat or reed cat. It is large cat in size than common cat and have long-legged. The habitat of the Jungle cat in Ranthambore is copse wood, grasslands and undergrowth in valleys.
Caracal is a medium-sized wild cat. Its scientific name is Caracal caracal. It has strong body with long legs. Its short face has long tufted ears. It has long canine teeth. It looks like a Lynx which has also pointed ears. Its coat is evenly reddish tan or sandy. The caracal is typically nocturnal wild cat. The caracal inhabits open scrub, streams, and grasslands and prefers dry areas with low rainfall.
Rusty Spotted cat is one of the smallest members in cat family. Its scientific name is Prionailurus rubiginosus. It inhabits Thorny trees, scrubland and cultivated areas.
This is a big deer to the Indian subcontinent. Scientific name of this large deer is Rusa unicolor. Sambar deer are nocturnal or crepuscular. In general, the height of the sambar deer is 102 to 160 centimeters at the shoulder and typically, its weigh 100 to 350 kg. Male sambar deer have antler while females are smaller than male and without antler. Typically, the size of the antler is 110 cm in the fully adult population. they lose their antlers annually. sambar deer habitat is in thick cover of deciduous, dense valleys, dangs and gentle slopes. Due to the wide range of deer, the size of the male’s home range is 3,700 acres, while the females have 740 acres. The male sambar deer live alone, and the females live in a small herd of up to 16 individuals. They often gather near water bodies for grazing, and they are also good swimmers. Sambar deer are favorite prey of tigers. They do sexual intercourse throughout the year and reproduce offspring. Estrus period of the sambar deer lasts around 18 days. Gestation period of the sambar deer probably lasts around 8 months. Generally, only one calf is born at a time. Young deer begin to eat solid food in 5 to 14 days. And starts ruminate after a month. Sambar deer lifespan is up to 28 years in captivity and rarely survive more than 12 years in the wild.
The chital or cheetal known as spotted deer or axis deer. Its scientific name is Axis axis. A medium sized male spotted deer reach nearly 90cm and females 70cm at the shoulder. Head and body length is approximately 1.7 meters (5.6 feet). Tail length is up to 20 centimeters (7.9 in). A male deer weighs about 30-75 kg while a female weigh 25–45 kg. Males have antler while females are without antler. The antlers are approximately one meter (3.3 ft) long. There are three lines on each antler. They shed their antlers every year. They prefer to live in the open area and the river area in the forest. They live in herds. The herd may have five to forty members. Spotted deer is grazers as well as browsers. The deer is mainly dependent on the grass throughout the year. Their sexual maturity takes place throughout the year for reproduction. There is regular oestrus cycle in female deer, each lasting three weeks. The female deer can conceive again 2 weeks to 4 months after the birth. The average age of the deer in captivity is about 22 years while in the jungle is merely 5 to 10 years.
Its literally meaning is Blue cow and scientific name is Boselaphus tragocamelus. It is the largest Asian antelope and it is native to the Indian subcontinent. Nilgai ‘s height is about 3.3-4.9 feet on the shoulder. Male blue bull weight is around 109-288 kg. Females are lighter than males, which weigh about 100-213 kg. Males have bluish-grey coat while females have orange to tawny coat. The Nilgai is diurnal animal and mainly they are active during the day. Only males process horns, whose length is approximately 15-24 centimeters (5.9- 9.4 inches). They all live in groups of 2 to 18 members. The main food of Nilgai is grass and herbs. Females become ready for sexually relationship in two years while males are not sexually active for four or five years. Most of these breeding seasons can be seen for three to four months and their gestation period is lasts eight to nine months. Most give birth to one calf at a time. The lifespan of the blue bull is around 10 years.
Chinkara is an Antelope species and it is also known as Indian Gazelle, jebeer gazelle or ravine deer. Its scientific name is Gazella bennettii. Inhabits of the chinkara is open dry scrub and light forest, flat plains and hills, arid areas and sand deserts. It is a very shy animal. Its height is around 65 cm (26 in.) It weighs up to 23 kg. Its horn length reaches over 39 cm. They are facultative drinkers and can live without water for long periods and they can get enough fluid from plants and dew. Males compete among themselves to reach females and have mating once a year but some source says that there are two breeding seasons throughout the year, first is in August to October and second in march to April. Indian gazelles have a gestation period of 5 to 5.5 months. Females generally give birth to an offspring. It can often be seen roaming alone in the forest. However, occasionally, in small groups, Indian gazelle can be seen, which include up to 4 members. Chinkra or Indian gazelle depend on vegetation as its diet and likes grass and fruit. Life expectancy of Chinkara is between 12 to 15 years.
Its scientific name is Sus scrofa. It is also known as wild swine or Eurasian wild pig. wild boars live in open spaces and riverine areas in wild. Wild boars are usually social animals. the reproduction period in most areas is from November to January. The gestation period varies according to the mother’s age. For the first time, this period lasts for 114-130 days while it stays 133-140 days in the old sows. They give birth to farrow between March and May and 4-6 piglets are born at a time. The maximum lifespan of the wild boars in the wild is 10–14 years and in captivity is 20 year.
The sloth bear is also known as the labiated bear. Its scientific name is Melursus ursinus. It is an insectivore bear species Native resident of Indian subcontinent. This is a shaggy-coated nocturnal animal and has long curved claws that uses for hanging upside down like lethargy and it use for also opening termite mounds to feed on the insects. The weight may vary from 55 to 124 kg in females and from 80 to 192 kilogram in males. They are 60–90 centimeter high at the shoulder, and body length is 4.6-6.2 feet. The female is smaller in size than the male. And have more fur between their shoulders. Sloth bears are excellent climbers. Sloth bear mother carry her cubs up to nine months old on their backs to save from predators. The mating season for sloth bears in India April to June and they give birth in month of December and early January and usually give birth in caves or shelters under the stones.
The Gestation period of the sows is 210 days old. Usually mother gives birth to one or two cubs at a time or rarely three cubs. Sloth bear’ cubs are born blind and after about a month their eyes open and they become self-reliant in 2-3 years. At the age of three, they ready for sexuality relationship. Sloth bears’ favorite food is termites and it is believed that it is expert hunter of the termites and can locate by smell only. Sloth bears too much fond of honey. Sloth bear lifespan in captivity lasts for 40 years, however, their average life in the wild is considered close to nearly 20 years.
Jackal is a medium-sized omnivorous mammal. It’s genus Canis which includes wolves and dogs. Jackals are crepuscular animal and they most active at dawn and dusk in the forest. Jackal is a proficient scavenger.
The striped hyena is a species of hyena native to Indian subcontinent. Its scientific name is Hyaena hyaena. Hyena is a nocturnal animal. Striped hyena usually comes out completely in the dark, and returns to its lair before sunrise. Striped hyenas usually live in a group of 1-2 members. The striped hyena is monogamous animal. Striped hyena mating season depends on their geographical location. They breed in January to February. They may intercourse at any time during the day. The gestation period of hyena lasts 90–91 days. Newborn cubs open their eyes after 7–8 days. Lifespan of striped hyenas are 12 year in the wild while it can reach up to 23 year in the captivity.
its scientific name is Viverricula indica. Small Indian civets are nocturnal. It usually inhabits primary forest, holes in the ground, thick bushes in the Forest, undergrowth in moist areas and large trees. Indian palm civets are omnivores.
Its scientific name is Herpestes edwardsi. it is also called Nevlaa in north India language. Gray Mongoos are commonly found in open forests areas, open scrub and grasslands and cultivated land. They live in burrows. It also easily climbs on the trees. It preys on, snakes, rodents, birds’ eggs, lizards. The mating season of the Indian mongoose is between March and October. It breeds two to three times every year. The gestation period of the Indian mongoose lasts for 60 to 65 days. The female gives birth to 2-4 offspring at a time. It has a lifespan of 7 years in the wild. In captivity it has 12 years.
It is a species of mongoose which is found in hilly forests areas. Its scientific name is Herpestes smithii. The ruddy Mongoose is very closely related to the Indian Gray Mongoose. But it has iconic bigger in size than Indian grey mongoose. It has black-tipped tail which is spreading for 2 to 3 inch at the distal end. The ruddy mongoose is primarily a forest-living wild animal. They like more secluded areas in the forest.
Its scientific name is Hystrix indica. it is a large rodent and nocturnal animal. Its body is covered with several layers of modified hair called quills. it has brown or black quills with white and black bands. Porcupine raises its quills when it feels danger. These quills can increase up to 50 cm (20 in) long. Most of its measurements have been recorded between 15 to30 cm. Indian crested porcupines habitats is rocky area, grasslands, plantations, forests, temperate shrub lands and gardens. They mostly preferred herbivorous diet. They spend 7 hours every night looking for food. They prefer to live in natural caves or in burrows. Porcupine mating season is in February and March. Gestation period is an average of 240 days. A female gives birth to a brood of two to four offspring every year.
it also known as the black-naped hare and its scientific name is Lepus nigricollis. habitat – grasslands and open scrub.
This is also known as the greater Indian fruit bat and scientific name is Pteropus giganteus. The Indian flying fox lives in Large trees in moist, tropical forests,low lying areas and swamps, near water bodies. It is frugivorous. They breed annually from July to October. Gestation period is 140 to 150 days. The average birth of pups is 1 to 2.
Its scientific name is Crocodylus palustris. This is also known as Mugger crocodile. Males are 13–16 ft in length, females are smaller than males. The pigmentation of the marsh crocodile is dark grey or brown. They mostly prey on fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. Reproduction occurs in the winter months. Females lay eggs in nests that are holes which is made by digging the sand.
Other reptiles are – Bengal monitor or common Indian monitor Lizard, Indian python or black-tailed python or Indian rock python, saw-scaled vipers or carpet vipers, Indian Rat Snake, Indian Bull Frog, Skittering Frog , Asian common toad, Tortoise, Banded krait, Cobra, Indian or common krait, Indian soft-shell turtle, Indian flap shell turtle and Russell’s viper.