sumatran tiger
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats
Photo4 of Sumatran tiger by Captain Chickenpants

Oct 2009. The tiger is probably the world’s best known and admired wild animal. We admire its courage and strength but we fear it. Our fear has jeopardized its survival because we kill it and sometimes eat it. Can we change? Yes, if as a living animal we benefit sufficiently from it commercially. That is the only way for the human race, it seems. We cannot cohabit with it.

Its appearance is dramatic to the point where we wonder how it can be beneficial in terms of camouflage. In a forest during twilight hours it is wonderfully effective.

This is a header page that binds various posts that I have made about the tiger, to which I have linked. It is also comprehensive in its own right.

There are about 3,200 tigers in the wild16. There are 9 subspecies of tiger1 possibly 8, three of which are extinct and the remainder are endangered. Some experts say that all tigers originate from the South China tiger5|1. However, others say that they all stem from the Siberian tiger, which migrated south and west over 100,000 years ago due to the last ice age. They established populations of tigers that evolved under the differing environments into distinctly different animals at a DNA level. Most tigers became smaller in size. The farthest west they travelled was to the Caspian Sea (to found a now extinct subspecies, the Caspian tiger, that probably never was, in fact) and as far south as the island of Bali3. From this taxonomists are able to divide the tiger into species although the classification of all species (taxonomy) is constantly under review. Click the link for the ancient history of the big cats.

It could be argued that all tigers are heading towards extinction in the wild unless things change. The future of the tiger is as a captive animal and we had better get used to it, some experts would argue.

Perhaps the species that we know best is the Bengal tiger, which lives in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Then we have the Siberian tiger (Amur tiger), said to be the largest tiger. The population size of this cat is precarious but apparently stable at about 330-371 adult/sub-adult1 tigers, it is thought, but the effective population in terms of procreation is much smaller than the actual population size at about 358. I discuss this further below. This cat now lives primarly in Russia straddling the city of Vladivostok on the far east coastal region. The Sumatran tiger is also endangered (critically). It is a forest dweller on the island of Sumatra. The other subspecies are: South China tiger (Update Nov. 21 2010: South China Tiger Is Extinct), Indochinese tiger (a part of this tiger’s population has been assessed as a different species, the Malayan tiger, but this is not necessarily commonly accepted), Bali tiger (“likely” extinct in the 1940s1), Javan tiger (extinct 1970s?1), Caspian tiger (extinct).

Tiger Collage

Collage above: From top left clockwise: South China (photo by savechinastigers.org), Siberian (photo by saucy_pan), Sumatran (photo by Silvain de Munck), Bengal tigers (photo by Gilberto Mellaci Netto)9

As a subject the tiger is big and important so this page is very big. It has to be.There are over four hundred thousand2 web pages on this animal on the internet at Nov. 2009. In order to get the page noticed it has to be complete. But where do we start when discussing this wild cat? We have to prioritise. In everyone of the 400 thousand pages on the internet about this wild cat there is almost certainly a description of the animal yet it is the most well known animal after the human in the world. A description is not therefore a top priority particularly when the very survival of this animal is in jeopardy in the wild. Accordingly, the top priority is its status in the wild because it is endangered. It’s survival is threatened. And we don’t want to lose the tiger in the wild, which is the way things are heading. So after setting out the various subspecies referred to above, I start properly with the threats to this magnificent animal and the attempts at its conservation. Next I discuss this cat’s lifestyle in some detail and that includes its ecology and behavior, its distribution and its reproduction. Oh, and finally its appearance..

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

7 thoughts on “Tiger”

    • Is the Siberian population increasing? Please tell me more. I had thought it was stable at around 400 with an effective breeding population of about 14! This is due to inbreeding.


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