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Tiger Gifts

Highly adaptable, tigers range from the Siberian taiga, to open grasslands, to tropical mangrove swamps. They are territorial and generally solitary animals, often requiring large contiguous areas of habitat that support their prey demands. The most numerous tiger subspecies is the Bengal tiger while the largest subspecies is the Siberian tiger.

Siberian Tigers

About Siberian Tigers

The Siberian tiger, also known as the Amur, Manchurian, Altaic, Korean or North China tiger, lives in far eastern Russia, occupying a relatively small area in the south of Siberia. Several reside in and around the Eastern Manchurian mountain system, with the result that a very small population of Siberian tigers (roughly 20) lives in China.

As one of the largest subspecies of tiger, the Siberian tiger tends to be about 44 to 47 inches tall and has an average weight of 500 pounds. However, the heaviest wild Siberian tiger on record weighed a whopping 847 pounds. Siberian tigers are rusty red or yellow in color, each with the black stripes characteristic of the tiger species. Relatively short legs support the Siberian tiger's supple, muscular body.

As one might guess, Siberian tigers are predators. Their preferred prey includes a variety of ungulates, such as deer, gorals, and Manchurian elk. They may also prey on smaller animals such as rabbits, pika, and fish like salmon. Should the ungulate population be insufficient to sustain a Siberian tiger, the tiger may resort to preying on brown or black bears. However, this is a relatively rare occurrence. When Siberian tigers do attack bears, they typically attack brown bears near their place of hibernation in the winter.

More interesting information about Siberian tigers has been unveiled by recent research. Genetic research in recent years has shown that the Siberian tiger and the extinct Caspian tiger are in fact the same subspecies. Perhaps more significantly, such research has also determined that there is low genetic variability in the wild population of Siberian tigers. This discovery suggests a recent, abrupt genetic bottleneck in the population, indicating the negative effects of human activity on the population.

The negative impact of humans on the Siberian tiger, however, can be seen in their status as an endangered subspecies; about 400 or fewer Siberian tigers were found to live in the wild in a 2005 study, a figure that has likely declined due to poaching, which was particularly pervasive in the year following the study. However, many have responded to this threat with various conservation and repopulation efforts.

Siberian tigers have been greatly valued by a number of cultures throughout history. For instance, the historic Tungusic people hailed the Siberian tiger as something akin to a deity, and the Manchu people regard it as a king. This regard can be seen in the naming of the Chinese Imperial Army under the Manchu Qing Dynasty for the Siberian tiger; the name literally translates to "The Tiger God Batallion." Additionally, nearly all parts of the Siberian tiger are highly valued in Chinese medicine for their alleged curative powers.

About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals an educational wildlife and animal website.

Tiger Gifts




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