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Tiger (Panthera tigris)

Updated on October 30, 2014

Tiger Species

Surviving Subspecies:

  • Amur (Siberian) tiger (P.t. altaica) - Amur river region of Russia and China, and North Korea
  • Bengal tiger (P.t. tigris) - Indian subcontinent
  • Indo-Chinese tiger (P.t. corbeti) - Continental South-East Asia
  • South China tiger (P.t. amoyensis) - South-central China
  • Sumatran tiger (P.t. sumatrae) - Sumatra, Indonesia

Extinct Subspecies:

  • Bali tiger (P.t. balica) - Bali, Indonesia
  • Caspian tiger (P.t. virgata) - Turkey through Central and West Asia
  • Javan tiger (P.t. sondaica) - Java, Indonesia

Sumatran tiger (P. t. sumatrae)
Sumatran tiger (P. t. sumatrae) | Source

Tiger Habitat and Range

The Present range for tigers extends from western India to China and Southeast Asia.

Tiger habitat is mainly dense forests with access to water. They also require areas to make dens such as caves, hollow trees, or dense vegetation.

Tiger Range

Fate of Wild Tigers: Sanderson, E., Forrest, J., Loucks, C., Ginsberg, J., Dinerstein, E., Seidensticker, J., Leimgruber, P., Songer, M., Heydlauff, A., O'Brien, T., Bryja, G., Klenzendorf, S., Wikramanayake, E. (2006). The Technical Assessment: Sett
Fate of Wild Tigers: Sanderson, E., Forrest, J., Loucks, C., Ginsberg, J., Dinerstein, E., Seidensticker, J., Leimgruber, P., Songer, M., Heydlauff, A., O'Brien, T., Bryja, G., Klenzendorf, S., Wikramanayake, E. (2006). The Technical Assessment: Sett | Source

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Amur/Siberian Tiger (P. t. altaica)


Tiger Biology


Tigers are carnivores, meaning they are meat eaters. Adult tigers can eat up to 75 lbs of meat in one meal, and they can go up to 2 weeks without eating.


Tigers are known to be nocturnal, meaning they are active at night. They are predatory in nature and are very skilled hunters. Tigers can reach speeds up to 30-40 mph in short bursts and there are records of tigers leaping up to 33 ft.


The typical breeding time for tigers is between the months of November and April. The gestation time is between 93-112 days. The average litter size is 2-3 cubs. The cubs are nursed for 3-6 months and become fully independent and leave the mother around 2 years old.

Population Estimates

Burma Myanmar
North Korea

Tiger Population in the wild

The start of the 20th Century saw a thriving tiger population in the wild at an estimate of over 100,000 tigers. According to most recent estimates that there are somewhere between 1,500-3,500 tigers left in the wild outside of captivity. There is not a real number to be placed on the surviving number of wild tigers as most figures are outdated or not based in reliable scientific census.

Common Estimates:

  • World Wide Fund for Nature = 3,200 in 2011
  • The table provided shows estimates per country according to IUCN and Governments in 2010.



The Tiger is listed as an Endangered Species. The decline in population of tigers can be contributed to poaching for their fur and body parts and in large part to the destruction of habitat.

State Bans on Exotic Cats


Laws and Treaties

Captive Wildlife Safety Act

The law, which becomes effective September 17, 2007, makes it illegal to move certain types of live big cats across State lines or U.S. borders unless you qualify as exempt.

CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species)

CITES also known as the Washington Convention is a treaty to protect endangered plants and animals.


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