9 Different Types of Tigers

Different Types of Tigers
Photo by Frida Lannerström

Do you probably think all the tigers you see are the same? No! There are different types of tigers. These animals vary in color, size, and region and are very popular in books, movies, and mythologies.

Tigers are large cats with thick fur and powerful jaws. They typically weigh between 300 and 700 pounds and stand between 4 and 8 feet tall at the shoulder. Their color ranges from yellowish orange to reddish brown or black.

Tigers are famous for their strength and ferocity, but they also have a reputation for being aggressive and territorial. Their size alone makes them intimidating, but they are brilliant and strong.

Different Types of Tigers

As we already know, tiger animals are some of the most majestic creatures on earth. And they’re scarce and endangered.

Let’s look at the different types of these big cats and their unique characteristics.

1. Bengal Tiger

The Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is a large cat native to India and Bangladesh. They are also known as Indian Tigers or Royal Bengals.

This tiger is the largest feline species in the world, weighing from 100 to 260kg. They are the most dangerous predator in Asia. The average height of a Bengal tiger ranges from 90 – 110cm. Their coat color varies from light brown to black.

The diet of a Bengal tiger consists mainly of meat, including deer, wild boar, antelope, gazelle, and even humans. In captivity, they feed on a mixture of meat and vegetables.

Fewer than 2,000 Bengal tigers are left in the wild today, and there are many threats to the survival of these magnificent cats. Poaching for body parts and skins is a significant problem.

India has been working hard to protect Bengal tigers. They have created reserves and protected areas throughout the country. These reserves help keep the population stable and prevent poaching.

2. Siberian Tiger 

The Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is a large cat native to Russia and China. Also, the largest subspecies of the Siberian tiger has a shoulder height of approximately 75 – 105cm, a body length of 170 a 208cm, and weighs between 118 and 318kg.

The Siberian Tiger is one of the rarest cats in the world, and there are only around 400 individuals left today. In the wild, they live in remote areas where they hunt for food, such as deer, hares, rabbits, birds, fish, and other animals. 

The Siberian tiger lives in temperate forests, grasslands, mangrove swamps, and savannahs. It prefers clearings and open habitats near water, where prey species congregate. In winter, they may move to lower elevations and snow-covered mountains.

In 2011, the IUCN Red List listed the Siberian Tiger as critically endangered. This means that the species faces extinction within the next 100 years unless action is taken immediately.

Several conservation organizations are working to save the Siberian Tiger. One of them is Panthera, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting big cats.

Their goal is to ensure the survival of these majestic animals through research, education, and advocacy.

3. Sumatran Tiger

Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) are large cats native to the island of Sumatra. It is the smallest of the different types of tigers, weighing about 120kg and standing at 213cm. 

They live in lowland forests along rivers and streams, where they prey on deer, wild pigs, monkeys, birds, snakes, and other smaller animals.

The Sumatran Tiger was once widespread throughout the island, but the species is now considered critically endangered due to habitat loss and poaching. There are only about 400-500 individuals left in the wild.

4. Caspian Tiger

The Caspian tiger (Panthera tigris virgata) is a subspecies of the Asian tiger. This species was once widespread throughout the Middle East, Central Asia, and northwest China. 

The average adult male Caspian tiger measures between 270 to 295cm and weigh between 170 and 240. Females tend to be smaller than males at around 260cm and weigh about 135kg. These tigers have a golden yellow color, with dark and light brown stripes. 

Caspian tigers live in temperate forests, steppes, grasslands, deserts, and mountains. It prefers open habitats with abundant prey. Their diet includes deer, sheep, goats, cattle, rabbits, hares, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and wild boars.

5. Javan Tiger

Javan tigers (Panthera tigris sondaica) are only in Indonesia and are also known as Java striped cats. The Javan tiger has a unique color pattern, with black stripes running down its back, making them very rare.

Javan tigers are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. Their population has declined dramatically over the last century, and fewer than 100 individuals are left today.

There are several reasons why the Javan tiger is facing extinction. First, habitat destruction is a significant problem. Second, poaching is rampant. Third, illegal trade in body parts is another issue. And finally, climate change is affecting their survival.

6. Indochinese Tiger

The Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) is one of the different types of tigers that is native to Southeast Asia. Their population has declined significantly over the last century due to habitat destruction and poaching.

They live in forests, grasslands, and scrubland in the wild, often near water sources. Their natural prey consists of wild boar, deer, monkeys, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals.

7. South China Tiger

The South China Tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis) is a subspecies of the Panthera tigris tigris found only in southern China. This tiger lives in subtropical forests and mountains between Guangdong Province and Hainan Island. 

Male South China tigers measure between 230 to 265 cm and weigh 130 to 175 kg. However, females measure 220 to 240cm and weigh between 100 to 115kg. They feed on wild boar, deer, porcupine, and hare.

Its natural habitats are fragmented and degraded, making them vulnerable to hunting. Recently, the Chinese government has taken measures to protect these endangered species. For example, they banned hunting them and closed down illegal wildlife markets.

8. Malayan Tiger

The Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) is a subspecies of the Bengal tiger. This big cat is among the different types of tiger, and it lives only in Peninsular Malaysia.

These tigers grow between 7.5 to 9.5 feet long and weigh up to 220 pounds. However, males weigh slightly more than females. They feed primarily on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, fruits, and deers.

The habitat of the Malayan tiger includes tropical rainforests, mangrove swamps, dry deciduous forests, grasslands, and scrubland. These habitats provide food and shelter for the tigers.

Today, only around 400 individuals of the Malayan tiger remain in the wild. Their numbers have declined drastically over the last century due to habitat destruction.

They live in forests and jungles, where they need large areas to survive. Sadly, these habitats are being destroyed at an alarming rate.

9. Bali Tiger

The Bali tiger (Panthera tigris balica) is a subspecies of tigers in Indonesia. This species was once widespread across Southeast Asia but has become extinct in several countries.

These animals measure about 190 to 230 cm and weigh 80 to 100kg. In Bali, the Bali Tiger lives primarily in primary forests, although they have been known to inhabit secondary forest patches. They feed on wild boars, monkeys, monitor lizards, and deer.

Conclusion

Most of these tigers are endangered, although their body parts are used in curing illnesses in some traditions. Which is your favorite among the different types of tigers? Do you have a fact or tip to share? Kindly do so in the comment section below!

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