KEEPER OF THE FOREST TIGER
KEEPER OF THE FOREST TIGER
There are currently six subspecies of tigers, each living in different habitats: flooded mangrove forests, arid forests, tropical forests, and taiga. The different subspecies are found in small areas of Asia, India, and Russia. The largest subspecies lives in snowy areas of Russia. The smallest and darkest subspecies is found farther south, in the jungles of Indonesia. Female tigers are always smaller than males.
The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest cat species, most recognizable for their pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with a lighter underside. The species is classified in the genus Panthera with the lion, leopard, jaguar and snow leopard. Tigers are apex predators, primarily preying on ungulates such as deer and bovids. They are territorial and generally solitary but social animals, often requiring large contiguous areas of habitat that support their prey requirements. This, coupled with the fact that they are indigenous to some of the more densely populated places on Earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans.
The tiger is the largest cat species, most recognizable for their pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with a lighter underside.
Tigers once ranged widely across Asia, from Turkey in the west to the eastern coast of Russia. Over the past 100 years, they have lost 93% of their historic range, and have been extirpated from southwest and central Asia, from the islands of Java and Bali, and from large areas of Southeast and Eastern Asia. Today, they range from the Siberian taiga to open grasslands and tropical mangrove swamps. The remaining six tiger subspecies have been classified as endangered by IUCN. The global population in the wild is estimated to number between 3,062 and 3,948 individuals, down from around 100,000 at the start of the 20th century, with most remaining populations occurring in small pockets isolated from each other, of which about 2,000 exist on the Indian subcontinent.
Bengal tiger: Lives in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, and is the most common subspecies. In 2011, the total adult population was estimated at 1,520–1,909 in India, 440 in Bangladesh, 155 in Nepal and 75 in Bhutan. In 2014, the population in India was estimated at 2,226,163–253 in Nepal and 103 in Bhutan as of 2015. It lives in alluvial grasslands, subtropical and tropical rain forests, scrub forests, wet and dry deciduous forests, and mangroves.
Indochinese tiger: Is found in Cambodia, China, Laos, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam. In 2010 the total population was estimated at about 350 individuals. Their preferred habitat is forests in mountainous or hilly regions.
Malayan tiger: Exclusively found in the southern part of the Malay Peninsula. The last native wild tiger in Singapore was shot dead in 1930.
Siberian tiger: Inhabits the Amur-Ussuri region of Primorsky Krai and Khabarovsk Krai in far eastern Siberia, with the exception of a small population in Hunchun National Siberian Tiger Nature Reserve in northeastern China, near the border of North Korea. In 2005, there were 331–393 adult and subadult Siberian tigers in the region, with a breeding adult population of about 250 individuals. As of 2015, there an estimated population of 480-540 individuals in the Russian Far East.
South China tiger: Is the most critically endangered subspecies of tiger, and one of the 10 most endangered animals in the world. The South China tiger is considered to be the most ancient of the tiger subspecies and is distinguished by a particularly narrow skull, long muzzle nose, rhombus-like stripes and vivid orange color.
Sumatran tiger: Found only on the island of Sumatra, and is thus the last surviving of the three Indonesian island subspecies. Listed as a distinct subspecies as of 1998, when genetic testing revealed the presence of unique genetic markers, and is critically endangered.