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You are here: Tigers

TigersPanthera tigris

Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Pantherinae
Conservation Status: Endangered
Habitat: Eastern Russia and Asia

The tiger is the largest cat species who once ranged widely across Asia, from Turkey to Russia. Over the past Over the past 100 years, they have lost 93% of their historic range. Today they exist in the Siberian taiga, open grasslands, and tropical mangrove swamps. The remaining six tiger subspecies (three subspecies are extinct) have been classified as endangered by IUCN. The global population in the wild is estimated to number between 3,062 and 3,948 individuals, down from around 100,000 at the start of the 20th century. Tigers are one of the most recognizable, and charismatic, animals but they are also one of the most threatened.

Tigers live alone and aggressively scent-mark large territories to keep their rivals away. They are powerful hunters that travel many miles to find prey, such as elk and wild boar, on hunts. Tigers use their distinctive coats as camouflage (no two have exactly the same stripes) and hunt by stealth. They lie in wait and creep close enough to attack their victims with a quick spring and a fatal pounce. A hungry tiger can eat as much as 60 pounds (27.2 kilograms) in one night, though they usually eat less. 

Despite their fearsome reputation, most tigers avoid humans; however, a few do become dangerous man-eaters. These animals are often sick and unable to hunt normally, or live in areas where their traditional prey has vanished.


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