My experience at an interactive zoo in Oklahoma this past summer inspired me to declare the tiger as September’s Animal of the Month. At the GW Interactive Zoo, I had a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s rarest tigers and hold and interact with two tiger cubs. To read about my experience and see pictures, check out this free write post.
While tigers are perhaps one of the most well-known animals on earth, revered as majestic, and the subject of many literary and poetic pieces, as a species, they are on their last legs. There are six subspecies of tiger, all of which are endangered. This month, rather than focus on one subspecies, I will touch on all six. Here is an overview of each:
The Bengal tiger lives in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. The most populated subspecies, there are approximately less than 2,500 adult individuals remaining. The weight of male Bengal tigers ranges from 400 to 570 pounds.
The Siberian tiger (also known as the Amur tiger), calls the Amur-Ussuri region of eastern Siberia home. They are the largest of the subspecies, with male members weighing as much as 660 pounds. As of 2005, there was somewhere between 330-400 Siberian tigers with about 250 breeding individuals.
The Indochina tiger is found in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, and Thailand. There are an estimated 350 individuals remaining. This subspecies is smaller and darker than the Indochina tiger; males weigh between 330 and 430 pounds.
The Malayan tiger is only found on the Malaysian peninsula. They number around 500 individuals, and are the second smallest subspecies with males weighing in on average at 260 pounds. The Malayan tiger was not considered a subspecies until 2004.
The Sumatran tiger is found only on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, and is critically endangered with an estimated 400 to 500 individuals remaining. It is also the smallest subspecies, with males weighing between 220 and 310 pounds.
The South China tiger lives in the area it was named after. It is the most critically endangered subspecies of tiger, and it is possible that it is extinct in the wild. It is also listed as one of the ten most endangered animals in the world. There are 59 known South China tigers in captivity, and efforts are being made to breed and reintroduce them. Males weigh between 280 and 390 pounds.
Three other subspecies of tiger have gone extinct in the past eighty years.
A Malayan tiger
Picture courtesy of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tiger_in_the_water.jpg
This month, I will be raising money for the Panthera Corporation on Goodsearch.com. For those of you who don’t know, using Goodsearch in place of Google or Bing allows you raise a penny for your chosen charity every time you search something. Think about how many times a day you Google something, and think of how quickly that could add up for fundraising.
I am switching to Panthera Corporation after raising $5.35 for the African Wildlife Foundation to benefit the mountain gorilla, July’s Animal of the Month.
To find out more about Panthera, visit their website. I will be providing more detailed information about organizations that support tiger conservation as the month goes on.