Endangered Subspecies of Tiger

Endangered Subspecies of Tiger

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There were nine subspecies
Subspecies in biological classification, is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, ora taxonomic unit in that rank . A subspecies cannot be recognized in isolation: a species will either be recognized as having no subspecies at all or two or more, never just one...

 of Tiger
The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to and weighing up to . Their most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underparts...

 in the world: the Siberian Tiger, the South China Tiger, Indochinese Tiger, the Sumatran Tiger, the Bengal Tiger, the Malayan Tiger, the Balinese Tiger, the Javan Tiger, and the Caspian Tiger or Persian Tiger. Three of these nine subspecies of tiger have gone extinct in the last century and one of them is believed to become extinct in the near future because of human influences. The historical range of these nine subspecies ranges from Russia to Siberia, Iran, Afghanistan, India, China and southeast Asia, and the Indonesian islands. Today though, with a third of the subspecies extinct, their range has greatly diminished.

Siberian tiger

The Siberian tiger is also known as the Amur, Manchurian or North China tiger. It is the largest tiger. It is classified as endangered because its population is not sufficiently large enough for it to be sustainable. There are only 400 of these tigers in the wild, however many of these populations are no longer genetically viable so there is a very large chance of inbreeding
Inbreeding is the reproduction from the mating of two genetically related parents. Inbreeding results in increased homozygosity, which can increase the chances of offspring being affected by recessive or deleterious traits. This generally leads to a decreased fitness of a population, which is...

. It practically only lives in a very restricted part of Eastern Russia. The Siberian tiger is by far the largest subspecies with its males as long as 10 feet, weighing approximately 800 pounds. This tiger can also be recognized for its thick coat that is pale gold and has very few stripes.

South China tiger

The South China tiger
South China Tiger
The South China tiger is a tiger subspecies that originated in southern China and northern Indochina and has been classified as critically endangered by IUCN since 1996 as it is possibly extinct in the wild....

 is also known as "Amoy" or "Xiamen" tiger. This subspecies of tiger is expected to become extinct and is currently in extremely critical danger. No live South China tiger has been seen in its natural habitat in the last 20 years, and the last known wild tiger was shot in 1994. In 1959, Chinese leader Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 declared the South China tiger a "pest," and the overall population of this subspecies quickly dropped from about 4,000 to 200 in only 17 years. In 1977, however, the Chinese government reversed this policy. Extinction is now considered inevitable because of a lack of genetic diversity; there are only 59 of these tigers captive in China, and they are all descended from the same six tigers.

Indochinese tiger

The Indochinese tiger
Indochinese Tiger
The Indochinese tiger or Corbett's tiger is a subspecies of tiger found in Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam and formerly in China. Tigers in peninsular Malaysia, formerly classified as Indochinese, have recently been reclassified as a separate subspecies, Malayan tiger Panthera tigris...

 is also known as the Corbett's tiger. It is found in Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. The population of this tiger ranges from 800 to 1000, however it is more likely that it is in the lower part of this range. The Indochinese tiger now mainly exists in Malaysia where illegal poaching is very strictly controlled. In all the populations of this tiger, there are risks of inbreeding and they are at risk for habitat fragmentation. In Vietnam, two thirds of the tigers killed provide stock for Chinese pharmacies. These tigers are also used as resources to try and eliminate poverty.

Sumatran Tiger

The Sumatran Tiger
Sumatran Tiger
The Sumatran tiger is a tiger subspecies that inhabits the Indonesian island of Sumatra and has been classified as critically endangered by IUCN in 2008 as the population is projected at 176 to 271 mature individuals, with no subpopulation having an effective population size larger than 50...

 is only found on the Indonesian Island of Sumatra and its population is estimated to be between 400 and 500 animals. If it is not made extinct it is believed that this species of tiger will evolve into a separate species because in recent genetic testing
Genetic testing
Genetic testing is among the newest and most sophisticated of techniques used to test for genetic disorders which involves direct examination of the DNA molecule itself. Other genetic tests include biochemical tests for such gene products as enzymes and other proteins and for microscopic...

, unique genetic markers have been revealed. This gives the Sumatran tiger a greater chance of conservation that any other subspecies. This tigers major threat is habitat destruction, and also shootings which killed almost 20% of this subspecies population in only 2 years.

Bengal Tiger

The Bengal Tiger
Bengal Tiger
The Bengal tiger is a tiger subspecies native to the Indian subcontinent that in 2010 has been classified as endangered by IUCN...

 is also known as the Royal Bengal Tiger. It is found in the Sunderbans, which is a national forest of West Bengal in India. In this area, there are about 1411 tigers.It is only found in India mainly Sunderbans. The Bengal tiger is the national animal of both Bangladesh and India. Of all the subspecies of tiger. The Bengal Tiger has the biggest population.

Malayan Tiger

The Malayan Tiger
Malayan Tiger
The Malayan tiger is a tiger subspecies that inhabits the southern and central parts of the Malay Peninsula and has been classified as endangered by IUCN in 2008 as the population was estimated at 493 to 1,480 adult individuals in 2003; none of the three subpopulations likely harbors more than 250...

 is found in the southern part of the Malay Peninsula. Up until 2004 the Malayan tiger wasn't considered a subspecies in its own right. It became classified as a subspecies after a study from the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, which is part of the National Cancer Institute, US. Other than the Bengal Tiger, the Malayan Tiger had the population ranging from 600-800 in the wild.

Balinese Tiger

The Balinese Tiger once lived on the island of Bali, however it was hunted to extinction
In biology and ecology, extinction is the end of an organism or of a group of organisms , normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point...

. It is believed that the last tiger was killed at Sumbar Kima, West Bali on September 27 in 1937 and that it was an adult female. This tiger to this day plays an important role in Balinese Hindu religion. It has never been held in captivity.

Javan Tiger

The Javan Tiger
Javan Tiger
The Javan tiger is an extinct tiger subspecies that inhabited the Indonesian island of Java until the mid-1970s. It was one of the three subspecies limited to islands.Mazák, J.H., Groves, C.P....

 once lived on the Indonesian island of Java. It was made extinct anywhere from the 1950s to the 1980s because its habitat was destroyed and it was hunted. It is believed that the last tiger was spotted in 1979.

Caspian Tiger

The Caspian Tiger
Caspian Tiger
The Caspian tiger, also known as the Turan tiger and Hyrcanian tiger, is an extinct tiger subspecies that has been recorded in the wild until the early 1970s, and used to inhabit the sparse forest habitats and riverine corridors west and south of the Caspian Sea, from Turkey, Iran and west through...

was also known as the Persian tiger. It was yellow with black stripes. It either became extinct in the late 1960s with the last sighting in 1968 or in 1970 when it is claimed that the last one was shot in south-eastern-most Turkey. This tiger lived in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, the former Soviet Union and Turkey.