Tiger Facts

What is a tiger?

A tiger is a solitary big cat with a distinctive orange and black striped coat.

How many tigers are left in the wild?

There are only around 3,800 tigers left in the wild.

How many species of tiger exist?

There are nine subspecies of tiger, three of which are extinct, one is extinct in the wild. The subspecies are:

Bengal tiger subspecies

Area of origin: India
Estimated remaining population:  less than 2,000

Indochinese tiger subspecies

Area of origin: Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Thailand, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Cambodia, Southwestern China)
Estimated remaining population:  750-1,300

Amur (Siberian) tiger subspecies

Area of origin: Russia & China
Estimated remaining population: 450

Sumatran tiger subspecies

Area of origin: Sumatra
Estimated remaining population: 400-500

Malayan tiger subspecies

Area of origin: Malaysia
Estimated remaining population: 600-800

South Chinese tiger subspecies

Area of origin: South China
Estimated remaining population: Extinct in the wild

Caspian tiger subspecies

Area of origin: Middle East and Central Asia
Estimated remaining population:
 Extinct

Javan tiger subspecies

Area of origin: Indonesian Island of Java
Estimated remaining population: 
Extinct

Bali tiger subspecies

Area of origin: Bali
Estimated remaining population: Extinct

How do scientists tell different tigers apart?

Tiger stripes are like human fingerprints – the stripes are unique to each individual. Scientists can set up camera traps to take pictures of the side of a tiger so that they can count the population in an area.

Where do tigers live?

The larger of the species live in colder places like eastern Russia and north-eastern China, and smaller subspecies live in warmer climates in south east Asia, such as India, Nepal, Cambodia and Vietnam. 

What is a tiger’s habitat?

Tigers can live in lots of different environments, from grasslands to woodlands and tropical forests, swamps, rainforests and snowy landscapes.

How do tigers behave?

Tigers are solitary animals, apart from when they are mating and raising their cubs. They are also mostly nocturnal animals, with very good night vision which they use to hunt in the dark. They are strong swimmers and like water, and have been seen to hunt while swimming, too.

They have very big territories which they mark as their own and defend fiercely.

What do tigers eat?

Tigers mostly eat big mammals, such as deer, wild pigs, water buffalo and antelope. They have also been known to hunt dogs, crocodiles and pythons, and when old and injured they might hunt domestic cattle.

How much do tigers weigh?

Tigers are the largest of all the Asian big cats, and they can weigh in at 300kg, or 47 stone!

How long do tigers live?

The oldest tiger known to live in the wild was 26. Survival for tiger cubs can be tough and around half of all cubs don’t survive past the age of 2.

What is a group of tigers called?

Despite being solitary, mother tigers are seen with their cubs. A group of tigers is called an ‘ambush’ or a ‘streak’ of tigers. The commonly accepted collective nouns for tigers are an ambush of tigers or a streak of tigers.

World Tiger Day is acknowledged annually on 29 July.

Why not use this as your chance to fundraise to help protect tigers from extinction?