Different Types Of Tigers: All The Species Explained

Anamika Balouria
Feb 07, 2023 By Anamika Balouria
Originally Published on Oct 26, 2021
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
portrait of a bengal tiger

Tiger hunting has been very prevalent and has led to a drastic decline in the tiger population.

Tigers are a cat species well known for their ferocious and aggressive behavior. Tigers live in solitude, but while predating, they can be seen in groups.

These big cats, tigers, were first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. They are one of the top predators known for their hunting skills.

They often hunt large mammals with hooves. Tigers are widely distributed in the eastern Anatolia Region, the Amur River, the hill region of the Himalayas, and Bali in the Sunda Islands.

Along with the wide range of geographical locations, their habitat range also varies from Siberian temperate forests to subtropical and tropical forests in islands of Sumatra and the Indo-China subcontinent. The population decline of tigers has also led to a reduction in their geographical range.

The tiger population is declining due to habitat loss, and hunting for their striped skin and meat.

The tiger is the national animal of India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and South Korea. Tigers belong to the class of Mammalia, the order of Carnivora, and the family of Felidae.

Black stripes of tigers make them beautiful and attractive. The subfamily they belong to is Pantherinae, and the genus they belong to is Panthera and the type species is Panthera tigris.

Different types of tigers include the Bengal tiger, the Siberian tiger (amur tiger), the Caspian tiger, the Bali tiger, the Javan tiger, the Malayan tiger, the white tiger, the south China tiger, the Indochinese tiger, and the Sumatran tiger. There are nine subspecies of tigers out of which three subspecies are Extinct.

If you enjoy reading about tiger breeds and differences between tigers, then do read some other interesting and surprising fun facts articles about different types of crabs and different types of goldfish.

Facts About Tigers

The tiger, scientifically known as Panthera tigris, is one of the most Endangered species in the world. Human activities such as poaching, illegal trade, and habitat loss have led to a decline in their population.

The tiger, Panthera tigris, is a ferocious cat species of the wild and is classified among the top predators. They mostly prey on wild mammals such as boars, sambar, and wild cattle.

They are a carnivore species that prey on other wild animals, especially during the night. However, these predators can also hunt down other animals during the day. Sumatran tigers are the rarest tigers in the world.

They are aggressive and very territorial creatures. The mother tiger is known to take care of her cubs until they are two years old, and then cubs are left to live on their own away from the territory of their mother.

Most of the existing subspecies of tigers are either Endangered or Critically Endangered. Some tiger species have orange stripes on their fur coat, while others have black stripes.

It is believed by many that there are no white tigers and black tigers in the world. It is just the melanin production in the skin of the Bengal tigers that makes their skin appear either white or black.

Tigers' hunting skills are very well appreciated and recognized throughout the world. Basically, they stalk their prey before pouncing on it.

Although they are solitary animals, during hunting they can be seen preying on animals in a group. They inhabit grasslands and tropical, subtropical, temperate, and coniferous deciduous forests. The average litter size of the tiger is three to five cubs, and they give direct birth to their offspring.

How many tigers are left in the world?

There are only 3,900 tigers left in the world, particularly in the wild, This species is almost Extinct and its population has declined by 93% over the past 100 years. Only three of the nine tiger subspecies are functionally Extinct, with the remaining six subspecies listed as Endangered.

There has been a drastic decline in the population of wild tigers due to many human activities. There are now few tigers left in the wild, and those that are left are also declining at a faster rate.

Factors responsible for tigers' population decline are the illegal trade of tiger parts, poaching, wildlife habitat loss, climatic conditions, and human conflict.

The south China tiger is on the verge of extinction, and three subspecies that have already gone Extinct are Bali tigers, the Javan tiger, and the Caspian tiger. White tigers have also almost gone Extinct.

For these reasons, the conservation status of tigers is Endangered. Tigers are being hunted by people for the illegal trade of tiger parts such as their skin with its black stripes, bones, paws, and whiskers.

Though the trade has been banned, many illegal activities are still being done by humans. Many initiatives have been taken by governments of different countries where tigers are found in order to preserve them.

Another factor for the declining population is habitat loss. The cutting down of trees on a large scale for artificial human settlements has affected the natural wildlife habitat of wild tigers.

For this reason, the tiger population is divided, leaving them to live their lives in solitude. Global warming and climatic changes are also one of the major reasons for the tiger population's decline. Wild tigers have been affected by floods, landslides, and high tides.

Different countries of Asia have taken many initiatives in order to preserve these animals. National parks, such as the Jim Corbett National Park in India, the Way Kambas National Park on the island of Sumatra, and the Sariska Tiger Reserve in India are working to preserve tigers.

Many non-profit organizations have been funding the conservation of tigers. Eco-tourism has been encouraged. The estimated population of these Endangered wild tigers will decline if no further steps are taken for their conservation.

List Of Different Types Of Tigers

The six Endangered tiger subspecies are the Bengal tiger, the Indochinese tiger, the Malayan tiger, the south China tiger, the Sumatran tiger, and the Siberian tiger or Amur tiger.

According to the IUCN, the six types of tigers are Endangered or Critically Endangered. Among them, the south China tiger subspecies is Critically Endangered. Bengal tigers are native animals of the Indian subcontinent. The conservation status of these tigers is Endangered and an estimated existing population of tigers is 2,600-3,400 as per the last available records from 2018.

Bengal tigers are also called Royal Bengal tigers. White tigers are believed to be the mutant species of these tigers. The length of males is greater than the length of females.

Indochinese tigers are found in Myanmar, Indonesia, and Thailand. The skull of the Indochinese tiger is smaller than that of the Bengal tiger and the Amur tiger. The male's size is larger than the female's, and tigers weigh around 220-430 lb (100-195 kg).

In the wild, the estimated population of tigers is approximately 3,900. Indochinese tigers inhabit both tropical and dry forests of the continent.

They prey on animals such as wild boars, monkeys, porcupines, and wild cattle. They prey during the night. They are also called Corbett's tiger named after the Jim Corbett National Park of India.

The Sumatran tiger is the only subspecies of tigers left out of the other two relative species of Panthera tigris sondaica. Sumatran tigers are the only tigers left on Sunda Island.

The Sumatran tiger is on the list of Critically Endangered animals by the IUCN. These Sumatran tigers with black stripes inhabit the land of Sumatra and have been preserved in national parks of Sumatra. Females are 85-91 in (216-231 cm) in length and males are 87 -100 in (221-254 cm) in length.

The Malayan tiger is found in the Malaya peninsula of Asia. According to the IUCN, Malayan tigers are a Critically Endangered subspecies. The Malayan tiger is smaller than the Bengal tiger.

There is no clear difference between Malayan tigers and Indochinese tigers except for their geographical location. The other subspecies, Siberian tigers or Amur tigers, are on the list of Endangered species by the IUCN. These Amur tigers are native to the Russian far east and northeast China, along with some parts of North Korea.

Siberian and Bengal tigers are some of the largest tigers in the world, whereas, Sumatran tigers are the smallest tigers in the world. The bodyweight of females is 165-243 lb (75-110 kg), while males are 220.5-309 lb (100-140 kg) in length.

Amur tigers are found near Amur river forests and Korean pine forests. They live in the coniferous-deciduous forests of the world. Siberian tigers have black stripes on their legs.

Extinct Tiger Species

The three Extinct subspecies of tiger, Panthera tigris, are the Javan tiger, the Caspian tiger, and the Bali tiger. The fourth subspecies of tiger, the south China tiger, is also on the verge of extinction.

The only existing subspecies of tiger are the Bengal tiger, the Indochinese tiger, the Sumatran tiger, the Siberian tiger, and the Malayan tiger. White tigers also became Extinct in 1958. However, many scientists believe that white tigers are neither Extinct nor Endangered because the skin color of a few tigers is just due to a genetic anomaly.

The Javan tiger is an Extinct subspecies of tiger. The Javan tiger, with the scientific name Panthera tigris sondaica, was a native species of the Indonesian island of Java.

The wildlife habitat of these tigers has been transformed into crop fields and human settlements. These animals went Extinct in the '70s and were one of three tiger populations found on Sunda Island. It is believed that these tigers existed on Sunda Island from about 11,000-12,000 years ago during the Last Glacial Period.

They were 98 in (248 cm) long in length and weighed around 165-311 lb (75-141 kg). Males were larger than females.

Another subspecies of a tiger named the Bali tiger, Panthera tigris balica, was found on an Indonesian island and was first described by Coenraad Jacob Temminck in 1844. In 2008, this subspecies was declared Extinct by the IUCN.

A few of the last Bali tiger subspecies existed in the '50s. In Bali, these tigers were known by the names Harmau Bali and Samong.

The weight of these tigers was 143-220 lb (65-100 kg) and they were 75-91 in (190-230 cm) long in length. Females were lighter in weight than males.

The third subspecies of tiger, named the Caspian tiger, was found near the Caspian Sea, in central Asia, and was native to the land of eastern Turkey. A few northern regions of China and Afghanistan were also covered by these wild tigers.

The scientific name of the tiger is Panthera tigris tigris. In 2003, they were declared Extinct. It is believed that this species shared its wild habitat with the Siberian tiger.

The estimated weight of these tigers was somewhere between that of a Siberian tiger and that of a Bengal tiger. They were called the Balkhash tiger, the Turanian tiger, and the Mazandaran tiger.

Apart from these Extinct subspecies of tiger, Panthera tigris, the south China tiger is also estimated to be on the verge of extinction. The south China tiger is found in the Hunan, Guangdong, and Fujian provinces of China.

They have been a Critically Endangered subspecies of tigers since 1996. Many believe that they must have been Extinct in the wild.

The fur trade for the skin with black stripes, habitat loss, and regions with low-density prey for them to survive on have led to their declining population. In the commercial market, they were called Amoy Tigers.

Males measure 91-104 in (230-265 cm) in length and weigh 287-386 lb (130-175 kg). Females are shorter and measure 87–94.5 in (220–240 cm) in length and weigh 220-254 lb (100–115 kg).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for different types of tigers, then why not take a look at different types of bulldogs or Bengal tiger fun facts for kids?

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Written by Anamika Balouria

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Bachelor of Education specializing in Secondary Education and Teaching, Master of Arts specializing in English

Anamika Balouria picture

Anamika BalouriaBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Bachelor of Education specializing in Secondary Education and Teaching, Master of Arts specializing in English

A dedicated and enthusiastic learner, Anamika is committed to the growth and development of her team and organization. She holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in English from Daulat Ram University and Indira Gandhi Institute for Open Learning respectively, as well as a Bachelor of Education from Amity University, Noida. Anamika is a skilled writer and editor with a passion for continual learning and development.
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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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