Panthera tigris altaica - Siberian tiger
































Panthera tigris



Panthera tigris altaica

Common name

: Siberian tiger


  • Body length: from 2.20 m (including 60 cm of tail) to 3.75 m (including 95 cm of tail)
  • Height at the withers(1): 1.0 - 1.5 m
  • Weight: male: 180 - 300 kg; female: 100 - 165 kg
  • Lifespan: 15 years in the wild; 26 years in captivity
  • Sexual maturity: female 3-4 years; male 4-5 years


At one time the Siberian tiger was found throughout the whole territory of Siberia, even in the most inaccessible areas. Today, however, it has moved further south, in the areas of south-eastern Siberia, in northern Manchuria and in North Korea, living in the vast deciduous forests in fairly restricted areas due to the exploitation of natural resources by man.


The Siberian tiger is generally a solitary animal and this is probably due to the fact that it needs vast territories (between 500 and 4000 km2) to hunt and the territories of two adult males never overlap. Only with females can there be sharing.

The Siberian tiger marks its territory with urine and feces and scratches on tree trunks to keep other tigers away.
If an adult male enters the territory of another adult male there will surely be a struggle especially if there is a female in heat or if food is scarce.

The longest coexistence is only the one that occurs between the mother and her little ones who live together for even three years, until the little ones go their own way.


The Siberian tiger is a mighty animal and is the largest feline in existence. He has a very powerful body and musculature and despite his considerable weight he is extremely agile. It has a thick layer of subcutaneous fat that allows it to survive the Siberian cold.

He has very acute vision (about six times that of humans) both day and night. The skull is very large enough to provide excellent anchoring to the powerful jaw muscles. It has canines up to 13 cm long which are used to block and kill the prey while the premolars and molars are used to grind the food. A peculiarity is the tongue equipped with numerous thorns that are used by the Siberian tiger to skin the prey and remove the flesh from the bones, as well as to clean and drink.

The legs are equipped with five long curved and retractable claws also equipped with soft pads that allow the Siberian tiger to silently approach its prey.


There are several ways in which Siberian tigers communicate with each other: smell, visual cues, sounds.

The sounds can be different: they can roar, grunt, hiss, growl, groan. Each sound has its own meaning and reflects what the tiger wants to do or his mood. Roaring is typically a dominance message, telling other animals how loud the roaring individual is and their social standing.

To delimit its territory, the Siberian tiger scratches the bark of trees or other surfaces and then sprays urine mixed with a fragrant liquid that serves to indicate to other tigers a whole range of information such as sex, social status, size and also, in the case of a female, if it is available for mating.


The preferred diet are pigs, deer, bears, small birds and even fish that the Siberian tiger hunts relying mainly on sight and hearing as the sense of smell is not particularly developed. In fact, the Siberian tiger locates its prey from the tracks it follows like a real hound by approaching as much as possible against the wind so as not to let its smell be heard and when it reaches about 15 m away it takes a leap by jumping on the victim and killing it. .

It prefers to hunt at night, when its favorite prey (ungulates) are most active.

If the prey is small then it is killed by a bite on the neck thus cutting the spinal cord; if it is a large prey, then the Siberian tiger grabs it by the neck and suffocates it by squeezing the trachea.

Once killed, it is dragged to one side and then eaten. If the prey is large and is not eaten all at once, then the tiger hides it with grass and earth, to prevent other animals from eating it, to feed on it later.

The Siberian tiger can eat up to 50 kg of meat in one meal.


Mating between these animals can take place at any time of the year even if it preferably occurs during the winter period.

Once the female the female Siberian tiger signals to the male with the urine and with the scratches on the tree trunks its willingness to mate, the two live together for 2-3 days before mating and, once this has happened, the male leaves the female who will be the only one to take care of the offspring.

Gestation lasts about 4 months and 2 to 3 puppies are delivered.

Weaning takes place when the chicks have reached 6 months of age even if from the age of 2-3 months the mother begins to bring small prey to the young.

The young when they are six months old begin to follow their mother in the hunt to learn and stay with her until the age of about two or three years.


The Siberian tiger has no natural enemies, except man. Small males can be killed by adult males.


The Siberian tiger is classified on the IUNC Red List as an animal at very high risk of extinction ENDANGERED (EN) with less than 400 examples worldwide.

The biggest threat today for the Siberian tiger is the man who destroys its natural habitat, relegating it to increasingly marginal and food-poor areas.


The Siberian tiger is very important in the ecosystem to control the population of large herbivores.

It is an animal that constitutes a great resource for zoos and natural areas controlled by man, as an important economic resource (ecotourism).

Although there are now few specimens left, poaching is unfortunately still widespread as its fur is considered very valuable for making carpets.


If all the puppies were to die within five months of giving birth, the mother is able to give birth to another litter.

Traditional Chinese medicine has used parts of the tiger for many years to prepare medicines for example to become as strong and ferocious as this animal.


To hear the cries emitted by this animal, go to the article: The sounds made by the tiger


(1) Withers: region of the body of the quadrupeds between the upper edge of the neck and the back and above the shoulders, in practice the highest area of ​​the animal's body.

Geographic Range

The range of tigers once extended across Asia from eastern Turkey and the Caspian Sea south of the Tibetan plateau eastward to Manchuria and the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. Tigers were also found in northern Iran, Afghanistan, the Indus valley of Pakistan, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and the islands of Java and Bali. Tigers are now extinct or nearly extinct in most of these areas. Populations remain relatively stable in northeastern China, Korea, Russia, and parts of India and the Himalayan region. (Mazak, 1981 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002 Thapar, 2005)

There are eight recognized subspecies of Panthera tigris. Siberian tigers, P. t. altaica, are currently found only in a small part of Russia, including the Amurussuri region of Primorye and Khabarovsk. Bengal tigers, P. t. tigris, are found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and China. Indochinese tigers, P. t. corbetti, are found in Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. South China tigers, P. t. amoyensis, are found in three isolated areas in southcentral China. Sumatran tigers, P. t. sumatrae, are found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Bali tigers (P. t. Balica), Javan tigers (P. t. Tuboica), and Caspian tigers (P. t. Virgata) are thought to be extinct. Those subspecies occurred on the islands of Bali (P. t. Balica), Java (P. t. Tuboica), and in Turkey, the Transcaucasus region, Iran, and central Asia (P. t. Virgata). (Mazak, 1981 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002 Thapar, 2005)

  • Biogeographic Regions
  • palearctic
    • native
  • oriental
    • native


Tigers live in a wide variety of habitats, suggested by their distribution across a wide range of ecological conditions. They are known to occur in tropical lowland evergreen forest, monsoonal forest, dry thorn forest, scrub oak and birch woodlands, tall grass jungles, and mangrove swamps. Tigers are able to cope with a broad range of climatic variation, from warm moist areas, to areas of extreme snowfall where temperatures may be as low as –40 degrees Celsius. Tigers have been found at elevations of 3,960 meters. In general, tigers require only some vegetative cover, a source of water, and sufficient prey. (Mazak, 1981 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002 Ullasa, 2001)

  • Habitat Regions
  • temperate
  • tropical
  • terrestrial
  • Terrestrial Biomes
  • tundra
  • taiga
  • savanna or grassland
  • forest
  • rainforest
  • scrub forest
  • mountains
  • Wetlands
  • marsh

Physical Description

Tigers have a reddish-orange coat with vertical black stripes along the flanks and shoulders that vary in size, length, and spacing. Some subspecies have paler fur and some are almost fully white with either black or dark brown stripes along the flanks and shoulders. The underside of the limbs and belly, chest, throat, and muzzle are white or light. White is found above the eyes and extends to the cheeks. A white spot is present on the back of each ear. The dark lines about the eyes tend to be symmetrical, but the marks on each side of the face are often asymmetrical. The tail is reddish-orange and ringed with several dark bands. (Mazak, 1981 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002 Thapar, 2005 Ullasa, 2001)

Body size and morphology varies considerably among subspecies of tigers. Siberian tigers, also know as Amur tigers (P. t. Altaica), are the largest. Male Siberian tigers can grow to 3.7 meters and weigh over 423 kg females are up to 2.4 meters in length and 168 kg. Male Indochinese tigers (P. t. Corbetti), though smaller than Siberian tigers in body size at 2.85 meters in length and 195 kg, have the longest skull of all tiger subspecies, measuring 319 to 365 mm. Sumatran tigers (P. t. Sumatrae) are the smallest living subspecies. Male Sumatran tigers measure 2.34 meters and weigh 136 kg females measure 1.98 meters and weigh 91 kg. (Mazak, 1981 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002 Thapar, 2005 Ullasa, 2001)

Tigers are powerful animals, one is known to have dragged a gaur bull weighing 700 kg. Tigers have short, thick necks, broad shoulders, and massive forelimbs, ideal for grappling with prey while holding on with long retractible claws and broad forepaws. A tiger's tongue is covered with hard papillae, to scrape flesh off the bones of prey. (Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002 Thapar, 2005 Ullasa, 2001)

All tigers have a dental formula of 3/3, 1/1, 3/2, 1/1. Bengal tigers (P. t. Tigris) have the longest canines of any living large cat from 7.5 to 10 cm in length. A tiger's skull is robust, short, and broad with wide zygomatic arches. The nasal bones are high, projecting little further than the maxillary, where the canines fit. Tigers have a well-developed sagittal crest and coronoid processes, providing muscle attachment for their strong bite. (Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002 Thapar, 2005 Ullasa, 2001)

  • Other Physical Features
  • endothermic
  • homoiothermic
  • bilateral symmetry
  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • male larger
  • Mass range 91 to 423 kg 200.44 to 931.72 lb
  • Range length 1.98 to 3.7 m 6.50 to 12.14 ft
  • Average basal metabolic rate 133,859 W AnAge


Tigers are solitary and do not associate with mates except for mating. Local males may compete for access to females in estrus. (Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002)

Female tigers come into estrus every 3 to 9 weeks and are receptive for 3 to 6 days. They have a gestation period of about 103 days (from 96 to 111 days), after which they give birth to from 1 to 7 altricial cubs. Average litter sizes are 2 to 3 young. In Siberian tigers the average litter size is 2.65 (n = 123), similar averages have been found in other tiger subspecies. Newborn cubs are blind and helpless, weighing from 780 to 1600 g. The eyes do not open until 6 to 14 days after birth and the ears from 9 to 11 days after birth. The mother spends most of her time nursing the young during this vulnerable stage. Weaning occurs at 90 to 100 days old. Cubs start following their mother at about 2 months old and begin to take some solid food at that time. From 5 to 6 months old the cubs begin to take part in hunting expeditions. Cubs stay with their mother until they are 18 months to 3 years old. Young tigers do not reach sexual maturity until around 3 to 4 years of age for females and 4 to 5 years of age for males. (Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002 Ullasa, 2001)

  • Key Reproductive Features
  • iteroparous
  • year-round breeding
  • gonochoric / gonochoristic / dioecious (sexes separate)
  • sexual
  • induced ovulation
  • viviparous
  • Breeding interval Female tigers give birth every 3 to 4 years, depending on the length of dependence of previous cubs.
  • Breeding season Tigers can breed at any time of the year, but breeding is most common from November to April.
  • Range number of offspring 1 to 7
  • Average number of offspring 2.65
  • Average number of offspring 2.5 AnAge
  • Range gestation period 96 to 111 days
  • Average gestation period 103 days
  • Average weaning age 90 to 100 days
  • Average time to independence 18 months
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female) 3 to 4 years
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
    Sex: female 1268 days AnAge
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male) 4 to 5 years
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
    Sex: male 1415 days AnAge

Like other mammals, females care for and nurse their dependent young. Weaning occurs at 3 to 6 months, but cubs are dependent on their mother until they become proficient hunters themselves, when they reach 18 months to 3 years old. Young tigers must learn to stalk, attack, and kill prey from their mother. A mother caring for cubs must increase her killing rate by 50% in order to get enough nutrition to satisfy herself and her offspring. Male tigers do not provide parental care. (Mazak, 1981 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002)

  • Parental Investment
  • altricial
  • pre-fertilization
    • provisioning
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-hatching / birth
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-weaning / fledging
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-independence
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • female
  • extended period of juvenile learning

Lifespan / Longevity

Tigers usually live 8 to 10 years in the wild, although they can reach ages into their 20's. In captivity tigers have been known to live up to 26 years old, although a typical captive lifespan is 16 to 18 years. It is estimated that most adult tigers die as a result of human persecution and hunting, although their large prey can occasionally wound them fatally. Young tigers face numerous dangers when they disperse from their mother's home range, including being attacked and eaten by male tigers. Some researchers estimate a 50% survival rate for young tigers. (Mazak, 1981 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002)

  • Range lifespan
    Status: captivity 26 (high) years
  • Typical lifespan
    Status: wild 8 to 10 years
  • Average lifespan
    Status: wild 8 to 10 years
  • Typical lifespan
    Status: captivity 16 to 18 years


Tigers are solitary, the only long-term relationship is between a mother and her offspring. Tigers are most active at night, when their wild ungulate prey are most active, although they can be active at any time of the day. Tigers prefer to hunt in dense vegetation and along routes where they can move quietly. In snow, tigers select routes on frozen river beds, in paths made by ungulates, or anywhere else that has a reduced snow depth. Tigers have tremendous leaping ability, being able to leap from 8 to 10 meters. Leaps of half that distance are more typical. Tigers are excellent swimmers and water doesn't usually act as a barrier to their movement. Tigers can easily cross rivers as wide as 6-8 km and have been known to cross a width of 29 km in the water. Tigers are also excellent climbers, using their retractible claws and powerful legs. (Mazak, 1981 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002)

  • Key Behaviors
  • cursorial
  • diurnal
  • nocturnal
  • crepuscular
  • motile
  • nomadic
  • sedentary
  • solitary
  • territorial
  • Range territory size 64 to 9252 km ^ 2

Home Range

Home range sizes vary depending on the density of prey. Female Indian tigers (P. t. Tigris) have home range sizes from 200 to 1000 square kilometers (range 64 to 9252 km2) a male's home range averages between 2 to 15 times larger. Within their home range tigers maintain several dens, often among dense vegetation or in a cave, cavity under a fallen tree, or in a hollow tree. Tigers often defend exclusive home ranges, but they have also been known to peacefully share home ranges or wander permanently, without any home range. Tigers may cover as much as 16 to 32 kilometers in a single night. (Mazak, 1981 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002)

Communication and Perception

Communication among tigers is maintained by scent markings, visual signals, and vocalization. Scent markings are deposited in the form of an odorous musky liquid that is mixed with urine and sprayed on objects like grass, trees, or rocks. A facial expression called “flehmen” is often associated with scent detection. During flehmen, the tongue hangs over the incisors, the nose is wrinkled, and the upper canines are bared. Flehmen is commonly seen in males that have just sniffed urine, scent marks, an estrous tigress, or a cub of their own species. (Schaller, 1967 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002 Thapar, 2005 Ullasa, 2001)

Visual signals made by tigers include spots that have been sprayed, scrapes made by raking the ground, and claw marks left on trees or other objects. Schaller (1967) described a “defense threat” facial expression observed when a tiger is attacking. This involved pulling the corners of the open mouth back, exposing the canines, fattening the ears, and enlarging the pupils of the eyes. The spots on the back of their ears and their pattern of stripes may also be used in intraspecific communication. (Mazak, 1981 Schaller, 1967 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002 Thapar, 2005 Ullasa, 2001)

Tigers can also communicate vocally with roars, growls, snarls, grunts, moans, mews, and hisses. Each sound has its own purpose, and appears to reflect the tiger's intent or mood. For example, a tiger's roar is usually a signal of dominance it tells other individuals how big it is and its location. A moan communicates submission. The ability of tigers to roar comes from having a flexible hyoid apparatus and vocal fold with a thick fibro- elastic pad that allows sound to travel long distances. (Schaller, 1967 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002 Thapar, 2005 Ullasa, 2001)

  • Communication Channels
  • visual
  • tactile
  • acoustic
  • chemical
  • Other Communication Modes
  • choruses
  • pheromones
  • scent marks
  • Perception Channels
  • visual
  • tactile
  • acoustic
  • chemical

Food Habits

Tigers prefer to hunt at night, when their ungulate prey are most active. In a study done in India by Schaller (1967), tigers were most active before 0800 and after 1600 hours. Tigers are thought to locate their prey using hearing and sight more than olfaction (Schaller, 1967). They use a stealthy approach, taking advantage of every rock, tree and bush as cover and rarely chase prey far. Tigers are silent, taking cautious steps and keeping low to the ground so they are not sighted or heard by the prey. They typically kill by ambushing prey, throwing the prey off balance with their mass as they leap onto it. Tigers are successful predators but only 1 out of 10 to 20 attacks result in a successful hunt. (Mazak, 1981 Schaller, 1967 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002)

Tigers use one of two tactics when they get close enough to kill. Small animals, weighing less than half the body weight of the tiger, are killed by a bite to the back of the neck. The canines are inserted between the neck vertebrae forcing them apart and breaking the spinal cord. For larger animals, a bite to the throat is used to crush the animal's trachea and suffocate it. The throat bite is the safer killing tactic because it minimizes any physical assault the tiger may receive while trying to kill its prey. After the prey is taken to cover, tigers feed first on the buttocks using the carnassials to rip open the carcass. As the tiger progresses it opens the body cavity and removes the stomach. Not all of the prey is eaten some parts are rejected. Prey are usually dragged to cover and may be left there and revisited over several days. (Schaller, 1967 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002)

The majority of the tiger diet consists of various large ungulate species, including sambar (Rusa unicolor), chital (Axis axis), hog deer (Axis porcinus), barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), elk (Cervus elaphus ), sika deer (Cervus nippon), Eurasian elk (Alces alces), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), muskdeer (Moschus moschiferus), nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), black buck (Antilope cervicapra), gaur (Bos frontalis), banteng ( Bos javanicus), water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), and wild pigs (Sus). Domestic ungulates are also taken, including cattle (Bos taurus), water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), horses (Equus caballus), and goats (Capra hircus). In rare cases tigers attack Malayan tapirs (Tapirus indicus), Indian elephants (Elephas maximus), and young Indian rhinoceroses (Rhinoceros unicornis). Tigers regularly attack and eat brown bears (Ursus arctos), Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus), and sloth bears (Melursus ursinus). Smaller animals are sometimes taken when larger prey is unavailable, this includes large birds such as pheasants (Phasianinae), leopards (Panthera pardus), fish, crocodiles (Crocodylus), turtles, porcupines (Hystrix), rats, and frogs. A very few tigers begin to hunt humans (Homo sapiens). Tigers will eat between 18 and 40 kg of meat when they successfully take large prey, they do not typically eat every day. (Mazak, 1981 Schaller, 1967 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002)

  • Primary Diet
  • carnivorous
    • eats terrestrial vertebrates
  • Animal Foods
  • birds
  • mammals
  • reptiles
  • fish
  • Foraging Behavior
  • stores or caches food


Tigers have no natural predators, except for humans. Adult tigers are potential predators of younger cubs. (Schaller, 1967 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002)

  • Anti-predator Adaptations
  • cryptic
  • Known Predators
    • humans (Homo sapiens)

Ecosystem Roles

Tigers help regulate populations of their large herbivore prey, which put pressure on plant communities. Because of their role as top predators, they may be considered keystone species. (Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002)

Tiger parasites include the nematode, trematode, and cestode worms: Paragonimus westermani, Toxocara species, Uiteinarta species, Physaloptera praeputhostoma, Dirofilaria species, Gnathostoma spinigerum, Diphyllobothrium erinacei, Taenia bubesei, and Taenia pisiformis. Ticks known from tigers are Rhipicephalus annulatus, Dermacentor silvarum, Hyalomma truncatum, Hyalomma kumari, Hyalomma marginata, and Rhipicelphalus turanicus.

  • Ecosystem Impact
  • keystone species

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Live tigers are of economic importance in zoos where they are displayed to the public and in wildlife areas where they may bring in tourism. Tigers are illegally killed for their fur to make rugs and wall hangings. In addition, for more than 3000 years traditional Chinese medicine has used tiger parts to treat sickness and injury. The humerus (upper leg bone), for example, has been prescribed to treat rheumatism even though there is no evidence that it has any affect on the disease. Some believe that tiger bones will help them become as strong and ferocious as the tiger. (Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002)

  • Positive Impacts
  • pet trade
  • food
  • body parts are source of valuable material
  • ecotourism
  • research and education

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Normally tigers avoid human contact, very rarely tigers may become "man eaters". A man-eating tigress was rumored to have killed over 430 people, including 234 over the course of four years. It is thought that man-eating tigers are those that cannot effectively prey on large ungulated because they have become crippled, are old, or no longer have suitable native habitat and prey available. Because human populations are rapidly increasing, competition over natural resources is increasing pressure on tigers and their habitat and increasing the likelihood of negative human-tiger interactions. (Mazak, 1981 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002)

  • Negative Impacts
  • injures humans
    • bites or stings

Conservation Status

Siberian (P. t. Altaica), South China (P. t. Amoyensis), and Sumatran tigers (P. t. Sumatrae) are all critically endangered. Bengal (P. tigris tigris) and Indochinese tigers (P. tigris corbetti) are endangered. Bali (P. t. Balica), Javan (P. t. Tuboica), and Caspian tigers (P. tigris virgata) are extinct. The specific threats to tigers vary regionally, but human persecution, hunting, and human-induced habitat destruction are universal factors in threatening tiger populations. (Mazak, 1981)

Other Comments

Panthera tigris has 38 chromosomes. The karyotype has 16 pairs of metacentric and submetacentric autosomes and two pairs of acrocentric autosomes. The X chromosome is a medium-sized metacentric and the Y chromosomes is a small metacentric.

Maltese tigers (sometimes referred to as P. t. Melitensis, although they are not a true subspecies) are a variety of tiger that results from inbreeding. Maltese tigers have white fur with gray hues, making them look blue from a distance. So called 'white tigers' result when a cub is born with two recessive forms of a gene, also the result of inbreeding. White tigers suffer from many problems including eye weakness, sway backs, and twisted necks. (Mazak, 1981 Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002 Ullasa, 2001)


Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.

Kevin Dacres (author), Michigan State University, Barbara Lundrigan (editor, instructor), Michigan State University.


living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.

uses sound to communicate

young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth / hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided into one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

an animal that mainly eats meat

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

to jointly display, usually with sounds, at the same time as two or more other individuals of the same or different species

having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment being difficult to see or otherwise detect.

humans benefit economically by promoting tourism that focuses on the appreciation of natural areas or animals. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals.

animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.

forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.

ovulation is stimulated by the act of copulation (does not occur spontaneously)

offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).

a species whose presence or absence strongly affects populations of other species in that area such that the extirpation of the keystone species in an area will result in the ultimate extirpation of many more species in that area (Example: sea otter).

marshes are wetland areas often dominated by grasses and reeds.

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

generally wanders from place to place, usually within a well-defined range.

found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.

the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.

chemicals released into air or water that are detected by and responded to by other animals of the same species

the kind of polygamy in which a female pairs with several males, each of which also pairs with several different females.

rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.

communicates by producing scents from special gland (s) and placing them on a surface whether others can smell or taste them

scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.

reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

places a food item in a special place to be eaten later. Also called "hoarding"

uses touch to communicate

Coniferous or boreal forest, located in a band across northern North America, Europe, and Asia. This terrestrial biome also occurs at high elevations. Long, cold winters and short, wet summers. Few species of trees are present these are primarily conifers that grow in dense stands with little undergrowth. Some deciduous trees also may be present.

that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).

defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement

The term is used in the 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals to refer collectively to species categorized as Endangered (E), Vulnerable (V), Rare (R), Indeterminate (I), or Insufficiently Known (K) and in the 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals to refer collectively to species categorized as Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN), or Vulnerable (VU).

the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.

A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.

A terrestrial biome with low, shrubby or mat-like vegetation found at extremely high latitudes or elevations, near the limit of plant growth. Soils usually subject to permafrost. Plant diversity is typically low and the growing season is short.

uses sight to communicate

reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.

breeding takes place throughout the year


2007. "Evolution, Ecology and Status of Global Tigers" (On-line pdf). World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong. Accessed April 03, 2007 at

Mazak, V. 1981. Mammalian Species. Panthera tigris , 152: 1-8.

Schaller, G. 1967. The deer and the tiger . Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Sunquist, M., F. Sunquist. 2002. Wild Cats of the World . Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Thapar, V. 2005. Wild Tigers of Ranthambhore . New Delhi, NY: Oxford University Press.

Ullasa, K. 2001. The Way of the Tiger . Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press.

The Animal Diversity Web team is excited to announce ADW Pocket Guides!

Tigre-siberiano (Panthera tigris altaica) - Siberian tiger

Distribuição geográfica: Ásia

Habitat: Florestas tropicais, savanas e áreas rochosas

Hábitos alimentares: : Carnívoro

Reprodução: Gestação de 106 dias

Período de vida: Aproximadamente 20 anos

O maior membro da família dos felinos é reconhecido por apresentar uma pelagem de coloração alaranjada com listras negras, e a parte inferior variando do creme ao branco. Oito subespécies de tigres foram reconhecidas, mas três foram extintas desde 1950. As outras subespécies resistem, porém estão ameaçadas de extinção (algumas criticamente). Sua coloração, tamanho, pelagem e marcas variam de acordo com a subespécie.

São distribuídas geograficamente pela Ásia. O Tigre siberiano (Panthera tigris altaica) é o maior deles, podendo atingir até 306 kg para machos e 167 kg para fêmeas, e medir de cabeça e corpo até 280 cm, mais a cauda de até 110 cm.

São encontrados em florestas tropicais, savanas e áreas rochosas. Embora normalmente não escalem árvores, podem fazê-lo. São grandes nadadores e podem cruzar rios de 6 a 8 km. São principalmente noturnos, podendo excepcionalmente ter atividades durante o dia, em especial no inverno. Para caçar o tigre depende mais da audição do que o olfato, normalmente se aproximando da presa em silêncio o máximo possível até saltar e agarrá-la pela parte posterior. Mata-a por estrangulamento, com uma mordida no pescoço ou garganta.

Sua dieta consiste de grandes mamíferos como porcos, cervos, antílopes e búfalos, podendo consumir até 40 kg de carne de uma só vez. A área territorial de um Tigre siberiano pode ser de até 4.000 km² geralmente marcados com fezes e urina, o que evita lutas. Quando estas acontecem por invasão de território, o invasor pode ser morto pelo dono deste.

Exceto durante a corte, os tigres são solitários e as fêmeas vivem com seus filhotes. Ao contrário do que se pensa, os tigres não são antisociais. O período de gestação é de 106 dias, com o nascimento de 2 a 3 filhotes que pesam até 16 kg e são assistidos pela mãe até seis meses de idade. Deste período em diante, começam a viajar com a mãe onde são ensinados à caçar, e com onze meses são capazes de pegar sua própria presa sem a ajuda da mãe, porém só separam-se para conquistar seu território com dois anos de idade, próximo à sua maturidade sexual, que é de 3 a 4 anos para as fêmeas e de 4 a 5 anos para os machos.

O tigre, um dos mais eficientes e bem sucedidos predadores de todos os tempos, simplesmente não consegue competir com a exploração humana sem ajuda. O declínio deve-se à perda de habitat e à caça predatória. São caçados para comércio ilegal de peles, seus ossos e órgãos são usados na medicina tradicional do oriente, mas sem comprovação científica.

Em 1972, o Tigre, foi listado pelo CITES como espécie ameaçada de extinção, exigindo medidas de proteção para tentar diminuir o declínio da espécie. Embora em alguns países seja ilegal a matança e o comércio desta espécie, ainda há atividades ilegais, mesmo assim a destruição de seu habitat e a expansão humana em florestas elimina o seu alimento, o que faz com que ele invada áreas agrícolas e seja morto. A maior parte está restrita em parques e zoológicos, que possuem programas de reprodução com sucesso.

O Tigre é o maior e mais forte de todos os felinos do mundo. Nenhum outro combina tamanho, força e graça como ele, e ironicamente este grande animal provavelmente será o primeiro dos grandes felinos a se tornar extinto se não houver uma conscientização acerca da preservação de seu ambiente e do controle da caça predatória.



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 nocturnal 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 in one night, though they usually eat less.

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

Tigre siberiano

O tigre siberiano (Panthera tigris altaica), tamén coñecido como tigre de Amur, é unha subespecie de tigre que habita principalmente nos bosques de folla perenne do extremo sueste de Siberia e a fronteira entre Rusia e China marcada polo río Amur.

No 2005, estimábase unha poboación de tigre siberiano que oscilaba entre os 331 e os 393 individuos adultos e subadultos na rexión, cunha poboación en idade reprodutora de 250 tigres. O número destes félidos mantívose estábel por máis dunha década grazas a un intenso esforzo de conservación, mais estudos realizados após do 2005 indican que a poboación do territorio ruso está decaendo.

Por outra banda, o tigre siberiano é a meirande das subespecies de tigre, así como tamén o maior félido existente. [ 2 ]

Estado de conservación

I, Babirusa [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

Actualmente, el tigre siberiano está bajo riesgo de extinguirse. Históricamente, sus poblaciones han estado expuestas a diversas amenazas, principalmente derivadas de las actividades humanas. Una de las peores épocas para este felino fue en la década de 1930, ya que la cantidad de estos se redujo drásticamente.

En 1990, la UICN clasificó al Panthera tigris altaica en peligro crítico de extinción. Sin embargo, debido a que los riesgos a que ha estado expuesto están siendo controlados, existe un leve crecimiento de su población.

– Amenazas

Uno de los factores que inciden en el decrecimiento poblacional de esta subespecie es la deforestación y fragmentación de los ecosistemas donde vive. Sin embargo, la principal amenaza a corto plazo es la disminución de las presas unguladas que conforman la dieta del tigre siberiano.

La caza furtiva del jabalí y del ciervo, entre otras especies de animales, reduce significativamente las fuentes de alimentos. Esto origina, que el tigre siberiano ataque el ganado doméstico, ocasionando que el hombre mate al felino en defensa de sus animales de cría.

Así mismo, el agotamiento de las presas es particularmente importante para los tigres de Amur que viven en el Lejano Oriente ruso. Esto se debe a que en esa región existen las densidades de presas más bajas de todas las áreas donde se distribuye en felino.

Además, la escasez de las presas unguladas puede disminuir la proporción de las hembras activas reproductivamente, lo que retrasa la edad del primer apareamiento y, por ende, se reduce el tamaño de la camada. Estos factores afectan la viabilidad demográfica de las diversas poblaciones del tigre siberiano.

También, el hombre caza este felino con la intención de vender en el mercado algunos órganos de su cuerpo, que son utilizados en la medicina tradicional.

– Acciones

El Panthera tigris altaica se encuentra incluido en el Apéndice I de CITES, por lo cual su comercialización a nivel internacional está prohibida. En este sentido, todos los estados que integran el área donde habita este felino, en conjunto con las naciones donde existen mercados de consumo, han prohibido su comercio interno.

En el 2010, los gobiernos de China y Rusia firmaron un acuerdo, donde ambas partes se comprometían a reforzar y mejorar las áreas protegidas, ubicadas en la frontera de los países.

El Fondo Fénix y la Sociedad para la Conservación de la Vida Silvestre de Rusia, en cooperación con la Sociedad Zoológica de Londres, iniciaron un proyecto conjunto.

La finalidad del mismo es mejorar las acciones de protección del tigre siberiano en algunas áreas protegidas. Estas son la reserva natural Sikhote Alin, el Parque Nacional Zov Tigra y en la reserva natural Kedrovaya Pad.

Proyecto Tigre Siberiano

El Proyecto Tigre Siberiano, creado en 1992, estudia y recolecta datos sobre esta subespecie, con la finalidad de crear planes de conservación. Para esto, equipan a los tigres con collares de radio, permitiendo estudiar su estructura social, hábitos alimenticios, uso de la tierra y patrones de mortalidad.

Este proyecto ha dado grandes frutos, ya que, entre otros aspectos, ha apoyado en abordaje de los conflictos tigre-humano. Esto lo ha logrado gracias a la intervención oportuna del equipo de Respuesta de Tigres.


El Proyecto de Tigre Siberiano (Siberian Tiger Project), que ha operado en la reserva Sijote Alin desde 1992, concluyó que el macho más pesado (M-20) alcanzó los 205 kg, siendo el mayor peso que han podido verificar, aunque sobre la base de un número limitado de especímenes. [ 4 ] ​ Dale Miquelle, director de dicho programa, asegura que a pesar de las repetidas afirmaciones en la literatura popular de que el tigre de Amur es el más grande de la especie, sus mediciones realizadas a más de cincuenta ejemplares capturados sugieren que su tamaño corporal es similar al de los tigres indios. [ 5 ] ​ Un estudio reciente calculó un peso promedio sobre la base de ejemplares históricos de 215,3 kg para los machos y 137,5 kg para las hembras. Sin embargo, con ejemplares actuales se calculó un peso promedio de 176,4 kg para los machos y 117,9 kg para las hembras. Estos pesos son menores que los calculados para los ejemplares que habitan el subcontinente indio, por lo que estos datos sugieren que, en la actualidad, la subespecie tigre de Bengala alcanza mayores dimensiones. [ 6 ] ​ Las medidas morfológicas, tomadas por los científicos del Proyecto de Tigre Siberiano, establecen que la longitud promedio cabeza-cuerpo medida entre las curvas, es de 195 cm (con rango de 178 a 208) para los machos y 174 cm (rango de 167 a 182) para las hembras. La cola mide en promedio unos 99 cm en los machos y 91 cm en las hembras. El macho más largo («Maurice») midió 309 cm en longitud total (cola de 101 cm) y tenía una circunferencia de pecho de 127 cm). La hembra más larga («Maria Ivanovna») midió 270 cm en longitud total (cola de 88 cm) y tenía una circunferencia de pecho de 108 cm. Estas medidas muestran que el tigre de Amur actual es más largo que el tigre de Bengala. [ 7 ] ​ En 2012 se identificó a un gran macho llamado Luk que llegó a los 212 kg de peso, siendo el espécimen más pesado confirmado por científicos en la Reserva Natural de Komarov Ussuri. [ 8 ] ​

El macho más grande del que se tengan referencias confiables fue un ejemplar de 335 cm de largo total medido en línea recta (350 cm sobre las curvas del lomo), cazado en la base del río Sungari, Manchuria, en 1943. [ 9 ] ​ se han reportado casos de más de 300 kg. [ 10 ] ​ Sin embargo, según el Dr. Vratislav Mazák, no existía verificación científica en el campo, por lo que no se puede comprobar la veracidad de estos reportes. [ 11 ] ​ Un reporte habla de un tigre macho cazado en los montes Sijote-Alin en 1950, que pesó 384,8 kg se calculó que tendría una longitud total probable de 349 cm, pero esta última cifra es hipotética. El ejemplar más grande del Tigre de Amur salvaje del que se tienen referencias confiables corresponde a un macho llamado Circa que pesó unos 306,5 kg. Dicho ejemplar fue capturado en la región rusa de Ussuri. [ 12 ] ​ [ 13 ] ​ [ 14 ] ​ Según los Récords Mundiales Guinness, el tigre cautivo más pesado fue un macho llamado “Jaipur”, que midió 332 cm de largo total y pesó 423 kg, al final de su vida, en 1999, aunque era un tigre bastante obeso. Los tigres de Amur en particular tienden a acumular grasa, en especial si son castrados. [ 15 ] ​ [ 16 ] ​

En los meses fríos el pelo se torna más largo y espeso, creciendo hasta los 105 mm de longitud en algunas zonas, con el fin de protegerlo del gélido invierno.

Son capaces de alcanzar altas velocidades en cortas persecuciones sobre la fría nieve del bosque siberiano.

Dentro de la región rusa del Amur - Ussuri, los tigres de Amur se concentran en las zonas de Krai de Primorie y la parte meridional del Krai de Jabárovsk. Comparten la densa y húmeda taiga de la zona con otros grandes depredadores como los lobos, osos, glotones, linces y leopardos de la subespecie local (Panthera pardus orientalis), hoy en día muy amenazada, entre los que es el depredador dominante (junto a los osos pardos machos). De hecho, a excepción de los osos pardos más grandes, los tigres cazan ocasionalmente cualquiera de los animales anteriores. No obstante, las presas más comunes de este animal son ungulados, fundamentalmente jabalíes y grandes cérvidos como el sika japonés, el ciervo común y el alce aún no se conocen casos de personas muertas por tigres de Amur. Están amenazados por la calidad de su piel y sus huesos, que se venden en el mercado negro asiático.

Es la subespecie de tigre que vive más al norte y más al este, en los bosques de hoja perenne del extremo sureste de Rusia y la frontera entre Rusia y China. Originalmente también era la que se extendía más hacia el oeste y la única presente en Europa. [ 17 ] ​ A principios del siglo XX la subpoblación oriental, ya aislada de los escasos ejemplares que sobrevivían en su área de distribución occidental (en los bosques del sur del Caspio, Irán, Turquía y algunas zonas del Asia Central soviética), se extendía por Mongolia, Manchuria y Corea, hasta el oeste del Mar de Ojotsk, con una población aproximada de 7000 ejemplares, reduciéndose posteriormente su área de distribución debido a la presión humana. En tiempos históricos desapareció del lago Baikal, la mayor parte de Manchuria y la península de Corea. En la actualidad su estado es crítico, quedando una sola población, más o menos continua, en la región del río Amur y junto al mar de Japón, y al igual que el resto de los tigres, esta subespecie está protegida internacionalmente.

La población de tigres de Amur en Rusia permaneció relativamente estable hasta alrededor de 1990, cuando el hundimiento de la Unión Soviética y la crisis económica subsiguiente provocaron un brusco aumento de la caza furtiva. En 1992 comenzó un intenso programa de conservación, llevado a cabo por científicos de Rusia y otros países, conocido como Siberian Tiger Project (Proyecto Tigre Siberiano), con el fin de detener el declive de la población y hacerla crecer de nuevo. El programa ha tenido un cierto éxito, haciendo que, por ejemplo, la población localizada en la reserva de Sijote-Alin pasase de 250 ejemplares en 1992 a cerca de 350 en 2004. No obstante, muchas poblaciones se encuentran aisladas y cuentan con menos de 20 animales, lo que les hace víctimas de la consanguinidad. Un censo realizado en 2005 demostró que la población de tigres de Amur es de alrededor de 500 individuos: 334–417 adultos y 97–112 cachorros. En 2014 el Fondo Mundial para la Naturaleza estimó que la población total del tigre de Amur en la naturaleza era de alrededor de 400 individuos. [ 18 ] ​A principios de 2015 una tigresa y sus cachorros de aproximadamente un año y medio de edad fueron fotografiados en la provincia de Jilin en China a treinta kilómetros de la frontera rusa, lo cual es un indicativo de que se podría estar asentando una población en esa región. [ 19 ] ​ En 2016 durante un encuentro en la ciudad de Sochi entre las subcomisiones para la protección del ambiente de Rusia Y China fue emitido un comunicado en el que se indica que la población del tigre de Amur creció en un 10 a 15 % con respecto a 2005, llegando a los 523 a 540 ejemplares en estado salvaje en Rusia. [ 20 ] ​ Este es un buen indicador de que los programas conservacionistas iniciados en la década de 1990 por el gobierno ruso están funcionando. [ 21 ] ​

Lamentablemente, la caza furtiva no ha desaparecido hoy en día de la región, y todavía siguen muriendo varios tigres por culpa del hombre. Es el caso de varios cachorros que son atropellados cada año en la única carretera que cruza su territorio. [cita requerida]

Rusia e Irán han discutido la posibilidad de iniciar la reintroducción del tigre en el norte del país.

Igualmente se están considerando áreas de Uzbekistán y Kazajistán para reintroducir la subespecie en puntos de su área de distribución original en Asia Central [ 22 ] ​ [ 23 ] ​

En 2013 un equipo de científicos surcoreanos liderados por Jong Bhak del Instituto de Genómica Personal de Suwon lograron descifrar el genoma del tigre de Amur y lo compararon con el de otras subespecies de tigre como el indio así como con otros felinos como los leones africanos y los leopardos, con el propósito de entender las distinciones que componen a las diversas especies de grandes félidos así como para contribuir a preservar la limitada diversidad genética de estos grandes depredadores en su entorno natural [ 24 ] ​

En 2015 el Gobierno ruso aprobó la creación del parque nacional Bikin, en la provincia de Primorie. Conocidos como “el Amazonas de Rusia”, los bosques de la cuenca del río Bikin son la mayor área intacta de bosques mixtos de todo el hemisferio norte. El nuevo parque protege más de 1,16 millones de hectáreas de bosques –una superficie mayor que Navarra- que ya en 2010 fueron declarados Patrimonio de la Humanidad de la UNESCO, y son el hábitat del 10% de la población actual del tigre de Amur. [ 25 ] ​

En 2017 un estudio en línea publicado en la revista Biological Conservation propone la reintoduccion del tigre de Amur en dos localidades de Kazajistán, los cuales son el delta del río Ili y la costa adyacente sur del lago Balkhash. Se identificaron alrededor de 7000 kilómetros cuadrados de hábitat adecuado para estos félidos que cuentan con suficientes animales de presa (ciervos y jabalíes) como para albergar una población de entre 64 y 98 tigres dentro de 50 años si se introducen 40 a 55 tigres. [ 26 ] ​

El tigre preside el escudo oficial de la región de Primorski (Rusia), aparece también en el de Jabárovsk, en el de la ciudad de Vladivostok y en el de la ciudad siberiana de Irkutsk. También aparece en el escudo del equipo de fútbol profesional ruso FC Luch-Energía Vladivostok. Hodori, la mascota de los Juegos Olímpicos de Seúl (1988), fue un tigre de amur.


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