Panthera tigris altaica
Tigers are one of our planet’s top predators and a big tiger can take prey of up to one tonne in size. They can also take small animals like fish and frogss - but mostly they like to eat wild pigs and deer.
Depending on how many deer and pig there are per square kilometre of forest, a single tiger might need as much as 2,000 km sq for his home range, if he lives in the temperate forests of Russia – or as little as 10 km sq, if he lives in the most fertile parts of India or Nepal. So tigers are losing their homes through conversion of forests – often illegally for short-term gain - to logging and agriculture.
There is only one species of tiger in the world – (Panthera tigris), but it is divided up into geographically separate groups called subspecies. The Amur Tiger (also called Siberian Tiger) is one of the largest; it also has the lightest colour and the longest coat.
- The usual number of cubs in a litter is 2-4 but can be up to 6.
- The white flashes on the backs of the ears are for communication, such as when cubs are following their mums or when their ears flatten in aggression.
- Unlike most cats tigers like to relax and keep cool in shallow water.
- There are more tigers in human hands than there are in the wild.
- There may be as few as 150- 200 of them left in the wild.
Where they live
Russian Far East and northeast China
An Amur Tiger prefers to live in densely covered areas with access to water and lots of prey.
What they eat
Hunting mainly by night, Tigers eat deer, wild pigs, reptiles, birds, fish and can also attack baby rhinos and elephants. It’s not adverse to carrion on occasion either.
ZSL has been involved in Amur tiger conservation in the Russian Far East since 1995 and has been running its own project in Lazovsky State Nature Reserve since 2006. Find out more about Tiger conservation