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Tiger Subspecies

The term “tiger” is applied to a group of wild cats known as a species. However, within this species is a number of subspecies that are defined, largely, by their natural habitat and its geographic location. The general thinking is that one species of tiger underwent various adaptations based on the climate and physical characteristics of the area in which it lived.

A total of nine subspecies have been identified, although three of these are now, sadly, extinct. The remaining subspecies are:

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The South China Tiger

This gorgeous subspecies is under critical threat of extinction. In fact, some believe that it has only a few more years before it has died out completely as there are only an estimated 20 of these creatures left wandering the wild. Their stripes are broad and bold, spaced further apart than the other tiger subspecies. Read More...

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The Siberian Tiger

The Siberian Tiger is arguably the best known of all the subspecies and is also the largest. It is a protected subspecies found only in eastern Siberia. Its coat is particularly thick, keeping it warm and dry in the cold climatic conditions of its habitat. It is also paler, with fewer stripes than the other tiger subspecies. Read More...

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The Sumatran Tiger

With only a few hundred of this subspecies left in the world, there are massive initiatives in place to conserve the remaining individuals and assist in the rehabilitation of their numbers. They are the smallest tigers in terms of their physical stature. Their size is suited to the fact that there is smaller prey in the Sumatran forests in which they live and, more importantly, hunt. Read More...

The Bengal Tiger

This large subspecies is the most prolific around the world, with more than about 1 400 of the animals still in existence in the wild. However, they are still endangered and global efforts are underway to preserve the animals and increase their numbers. The Bengal Tiger can be found mainly in India and Bangladesh. Read More...

The Malayan Tiger

The mysterious Malayan Tiger is known for attacking the livestock of farmers, making them a threat, particularly in rural areas. As a result, their numbers have dwindled to about 600 animals in the wild. Sadly, this still qualifies as one of the larger tiger populations. It can only be found in the south of the Malay Peninsula and has only been considered a subspecies in its own right since 2004. It is a characteristically small tiger. Read More...

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The Indochinese Tiger

Hunting has played an integral role in the near-destruction of this subspecies of tiger. The Indochinese Tiger is found in China, Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. They are darker than many other of the subspecies and are also fairly small. Read More...

The three tiger subspecies that are, unfortunately, already extinct are:
. The Caspian Tiger. The Javan Tiger. The Bali Tiger
There are also certain tigers that are a result of hybridisation. Interestingly, lions and tigers can breed with one another. The result has been dubbed tigons (the combination of a tiger and a lioness) or ligers (a cross between a lion and a tigress). However, this only occurs in zoos or other private institutions, as it does not produce a strong, resilient hybrid species.

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