Tigers have the species name, ‘Panthera Tigris’.
They are regarded as one of the species of cat family (Felidae) in the world: they are carnivorous animals that live in the forest, except tamed in any zoos – they do not, naturally, live among people.
In this write–up, we bring to your notice, once again, different species of the ‘tiger’ that you can find (all over this world): it should be noted that the ones listed (below) are not the only subspecies that ever existed – there were, initially, nine subspecies of tigers, three of which are extinct, as of today.
Over the last century, tiger numbers have fallen by about 95 percent and tigers now survive in 40 percent less of the area they occupied just a decade ago, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The available species, notwithstanding, include following:
– Amur or Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica)
Amur tigers (also known as Siberian, Manchurian, Ussurian, or Northeast China tigers) are the largest of the tiger subspecies.
Their males can grow up to 10.5 feet (3.3 m) from head to tail and weigh up to 660 pounds (300 kilograms). The females are smaller, reaching just 8.5 feet (2.6 m) in length and about 200 to 370 pounds (100 to 167 kilograms) in weight.
Amur tigers have paler orange fur than the other tiger species, as well as, brown instead of black stripes. They have white chests and bellies with a white ruff of fur around their necks.
According to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Save the Tiger Fund (perhaps, in the US), wild Amur tigers are found in two main populations, namely: the Russian Far East, which is the primary population of about 450 individuals – covering 60,000 square miles (156,000 sq km) in Primosky and Khabarovski Krais.
Another (but small population) of about 35 individuals occurs on the Russia-China border and into Northeast China.
Officials representing China’s Jilin province and Russia’s Primorsky province (areas just north of the Korean peninsula), recently, signed an agreement to set up a protected area straddling their countries’ common border to safeguard these tigers, which are listed as Endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, (IUCNRTS).
Like many other threatened species, Amur tigers are being bred in zoos around the world to boost their populations and maintain healthy genetic stocks. Triplets (of these Tigers) born, recently, made their public debut at the Pittsburgh Zoo, USA: the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, New York, also has a set of Amur tiger cubs.
Indian or Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
This is the (most) numerous of the tiger species, found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan – with India being home to the largest population, estimated between 2,500 and 3,750 individuals, according to the Save the Tigers Fund.
While most Bengal tigers have the colouration, typically associated with their species, a recessive gene for colouration causes some to be cream or white in colour instead of orange, according to the WWF.
These white tigers are rarely found in the wild.
Rather, they dwell in dry and wet deciduous forests, grassland and temperate forests, as well as, mangrove forests: while these ‘Tigers’ have more individuals left in the wild than its brethren, they are still listed as Endangered on the IUCNRTS.
South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis)
These are found in Central and Eastern China, listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCNRTS – one step higher than Endangered.
According to the WWF, the South China tiger is estimated to be functionally extinct. Currently, about 47 South China tigers live in 18 zoos, all in China.
The exact number of those in the wild, if there are any left, is unknown. Only 40 years ago, there were reputed to be more than 4,000 of these tigers, but (according to the Save the Tigers Fund) the government declared them pests, and they were hunted.
Field surveys conducted in 1987 and 1990 found evidence of a few of these tigers in the remote mountains of Guangdong, Hunan, and Fujian Provinces of South China, “Though no tigers were seen”, the Save the Tigers Fund says: the evidence came from anecdotal stories of hunters.
Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni)
The Malayan tiger was only identified as being a separate subspecies from the Indochinese tiger in 2004. It is very similar to the Indochinese tiger, but is smaller in size.
Malayan tigers are found in the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests of the Southern tip of Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.
The subspecies “jacksoni” was named to honor Peter Jackson, the former Chair of the IUCNRTS’s Cat Specialist Group.
The IUCNRTS, also, lists the species as Endangered.
Indo-Chinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti)
Also known as Corbett’s tiger, after British hunter and naturalist (Jim Corbett). This subspecies is found in Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam (and formerly) in China. They are listed as endangered by the IUCNRTS.
Indo–Chinese tigers are a bit smaller and darker than Bengal tigers which have shorter, narrower stripes.
The Males average 9 feet (3 m) from head to tail and weigh about 400 pounds (180 kilograms). Females are smaller, measuring about 8 feet (2.4 m) in length and weighing approximately 250 pounds (115 kilograms), according to the Save the Tigers Fund.
These tigers live in remote forests in hilly and mountainous terrain, which makes it difficult for scientists to gain access to their habitat. As a result, relatively little is known about the status of these tigers in the wild.
A 1998 assessment put the number of Indo–Chinese tigers in the wild at an estimated 736 to 1,225 individuals.
Genetic analyses in 2004 showed that Indo–Chinese tigers were a separate subspecies from Malayan tigers.
Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae)
Found only on the Indonesian Island of Sumatra, the Sumatran tiger is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCNRTS.
Sumatran tigers are protected by law in Indonesia, with tough provisions for jail terms and steep fines, according to the WWF. The conservation and anti–poaching efforts, notwithstanding, tigers are still hunted and tiger’s parts and skins remain in high demand.
The Sumatran tiger has the darkest coat of all tigers. Its broad, black stripes are closely spaced and often doubled. Unlike the Siberian tiger, it has striped forelegs.
Sumatran tigers are the smallest tiger subspecies. The Males average 8 feet (2.4 meters) in length from head to tail and weigh about 260 pounds (120 kilograms) while the females are closer – having 7 feet (2 m) in length and weighing about 200 pounds (90 kilograms).
The Indonesian Zoological Parks’ Association (PKBSI) has been developing a conservation plan for this Sumatran tigers which exist in Indonesia, North American, Australasian and European zoos. The San Diego Zoo (Safari Park) has two female Sumatran tiger cubs, recently.
Culled from Live Science but edited.