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Sumatran Tigers

Updated on September 11, 2012

Sumatran Tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) are a critically endangered species of tiger found in Sumatra, Indonesia. There are around 450 - 700 of these animals left in the wild as of 2008. The Sumatran Tiger is the only surviving member of the Sunda Islands group of now extinct tigers that included the Javan Tiger and the Bali Tiger.

Characteristics:

  • The Sumatran Tiger is the smallest subspecies of tiger alive today.
  • Their fur is quite dark in color with thick stripes.
  • The males have a mane.
  • Females can weigh between 75 - 100 kg.
  • Males can weigh between 100 - 140 kg.

Adaptations:

  • Sumatran Tigers have adapted very well to their surroundings. They have webbed feet and are one of the few cats that like water and are good swimmers. Sometimes they pull their prey into the water to kill them.
  • They have long whiskers which are great sensors in the dark dense jungle.

Threats

  • The main threat to these tigers are humans. We cut down the Sumatran Rainforests where these animals live for things like housing, which can be built elsewhere and for the trees. The wood from these trees is made primarily into toilet paper. We can help stop this by raising awareness for these animals and by not buying Palas brands, but instead brands of toilet paper that are FSC certified or 100% recycled!
  • Another threat to these animals are poachers! People hunt down these tigers to sell their fur and meat. This is horrific and has to stop now!

Conservation:

  • There have been wildlife reserves and parks set up across the globe where these tigers can roam freely without the risk of loss of habitat or poaching. WWF has sucessfully set up Tesso Nilo tiger landscape in Sumatra for these tigers to live protected and monitor the species in the wild to keep an eye on the depleting numbers of these critically endangered animals.
  • Many zoos including my local zoo, Dublin Zoo, have a few Sumatran Tigers. They breed in the zoo and are exchanged between zoos. This also helps to keep the numbers of tigers up.

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