Tiger's historic range in about 1850 (pale yellow) and in 2006 (in green).
Surviving Subspecies of Tiger
Bengal Tiger (P. t. tigris), also called the Indian 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. It lives in alluvial grasslands, subtropical and tropical rainforests, scrub forests, wet and dry deciduous forests, and mangroves. It is the second-largest of the surviving subspecies. Males attain a total nose-to-tail length of 270 to 310 cm (110 to 120 in) and weigh between 180 to 258 kg (397 to 569 lb), while females range from 240 to 265 cm (94 to 104 in) and 100 to 160 kg (220 to 350 lb). In northern India and Nepal, the average is larger; males can weigh up to 235 kilograms (518 lb), while females average 140 kilograms (310 lb). Coat color varies from light yellow to reddish yellow with black stripes.
Indochinese Tiger (P. t. corbetti), also called Corbett's 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. Males average 108 inches (270 cm) in total length and weigh between 150–195 kg (331–430 lb), while females average 96 inches (240 cm) and 100–130 kg (220–290 lb).
Malayan Tiger (P. t. jacksoni)
Exclusively found in the southern part of the Malay Peninsula. Was not considered a subspecies in its own right until a 2004 genetic analysis showed that they are distinct in mtDNA and micro-satellite sequences from the Indochinese subspecies. As of 2014 the total population is estimated at fewer than 500 individuals, though a new report from September that year estimated it at between 250 and 340 individuals. Males range in total length from 190–280 cm (75–110 in) and weigh between 47.2 to 129.1 kg (104 to 285 lb), while females range from 180–260 cm (71–102 in) and 24 to 88 kg (53 to 194 lb).
Siberian Tiger (P. t. altaica), also known as the Amur 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 2014, the World Wildlife Fund estimates a total population of 400. It is the largest subspecies and ranks among the largest felids ever to have existed. Males have a head and body length of between 190–230 cm (75–91 in) and weigh between 180 to 306 kg (397 to 675 lb), while females average 160–180 cm (63–71 in) and 100 to 167 kg (220 to 368 lb). Tail length is about 60–110 cm (24–43 in). Compared to other subspecies, Siberian tigers have thicker coats, paler hues, and fewer stripes in dark brown instead of black.
South China Tiger (P. t. amoyensis), also known as the Amoy or Xiamen Tiger
Is the most critically endangered subspecies of tiger, and one of the 10 most endangered animals in the world. Despite unconfirmed reports and some evidence of footprints, there has been no confirmed wild sighting in over 25 years, leading experts to consider it "functionally extinct", with the entire known population of roughly 65+ individuals held in captivity. It is the second-smallest subspecies. Males range in total length from 230–260 cm (91–102 in) and weigh between 130 to 180 kg (290 to 400 lb), while females range from 220–240 cm (87–94 in) and 100 to 110 kg (220 to 240 lb). The South China tiger is considered to be the most ancient of the tiger subspecies and is distinguished by a particularly narrow skull, long nose, rhombus-like stripes and vivid orange colour.
Sumatran Tiger (P. t. sumatrae)
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. As of 2014 the wild population is estimated at between 400 and 500, seen chiefly in the island's national parks. It is the smallest of all living tigers. Males range in total length from 220 to 255 cm (87 to 100 in) and weigh between 100 to 140 kg (220 to 310 lb), while females range between 215 to 230 cm (85 to 91 in) and 75 to 110 kg (165 to 243 lb). Their reduced size is an adaptation to the thick, dense forests and smaller prey in their native habitat. This subspecies also has the darkest coat, with more narrowly spaced stripes and a longer mane and beard.
Extinct Subspecies of Tiger
Bali Tiger (P. t. balica)
Was limited to the Indonesian island of Bali. Had a weight of 90–100 kg (200–220 lb) in males and 65–80 kg (143–176 lb) in females. Bali tigers were hunted to extinction; the last Bali tiger, an adult female, is thought to have been killed at Sumbar Kima, West Bali, on 27 September 1937, though there were unconfirmed reports that villagers found a tiger corpse in 1963. The Bali tiger is reported to have had some spots in between its stripes.
Caspian Tiger (P. t. virgata), also known as the Hyrcanian Tiger or Turan Tiger
Was found in the sparse forest habitats and riverine corridors west and south of the Caspian Sea and east through Central Asia into the Takla-Makan desert of Xinjiang, and had been recorded in the wild until the early 1970s. The Amur tiger is the genetically closest living relative of the Caspian tiger.
Javan Tiger (P. t. sondaica)
Was limited to the island of Java, and had been recorded until the mid-1970s. Javan tigers were larger than Bali tigers; males weighed 100–141 kg (220–311 lb) and females 75–115 kg (165–254 lb). After 1979, no more sightings were confirmed in the region of Mount Betiri. An expedition to Mount Halimun Salak National Park in 1990 did not yield any definite, direct evidence for the continued existence of tigers.
^Chundawat, R.S., Habib, B., Karanth, U., Kawanishi, K., Ahmad Khan, J., Lynam, T., Miquelle, D., Nyhus, P., Sunarto, S., Tilson, R. & Sonam Wang (2008). Panthera leo. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 11 Januaru 2010.
^Bengal tigers have Smith, James L. David, Sunquist, Melvin E., Tamang, Kirti Man, Rai, Prem Bahadur (1983). "A technique for capturing and immobilizing tigers". The Journal of Wildlife Management. 47 (1): 255–259. JSTOR3808080. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) Table 1 entries on page 257 are Adult females N=19 mean=140 Range=116–164, Adult males N=7 mean=235 Range=200–261.
^Istiadi, Y., Panekenan, N., Priatna, D., Novendri, Y., Mathys, A., Mathys, Y. (1991). Untersuchung über die Carnivoren des Gunung Halimun Naturschutzgebietes. Zoologische Gesellschaft für Arten- und Populationsschutz e.V. Mitteilungen 7 (2): 3–5.
This article is part of Project Mammalia, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each mammal, including made-up species.
This article is part of Project Carnivora, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each carnivoran, including made-up species.
This article is part of Project Felidae, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each felid, including made-up species.