About South China Tigers
The South China tiger, also known as the Chinese, South
Chinese, or Xiamen tiger, is a tiger subspecies that
occupies a small range in the southeast of China. Its
scientific name is Panthera tigris amoyensis, from which
their other nickname, "amoy tiger," a term predominantly
used historically in the fur trade, arose.
One of the smaller subspecies of tigers, the South
China tiger on average measures between 87 104 inches
between the pegs and weighs between 243 and 386 pounds.
These measurements vary by sex, as female South China
tigers are smaller than males. They differ in appearance
from the more well-known Bengal tiger, to which it is
fairly similar in size, in that the South China tiger
has a differently shaped head and teeth, has a lighter
coat, is more yellow in color, and has thinner stripes.
The South China tiger is a carnivore and a predator,
preferring to feed on large ungulates, gray langurs,
and wild pigs. It will also prey upon smaller animals
such as peacocks, hares, and porcupines, though this
occurs much less frequently. South China tigers have
also preyed on domestic animals as a consequence of
the destruction of and inhabitation of their habitat
Typically, the South China tiger hunts by approaching
their prey from behind or the side from as short a distance
as possible. It captures and kills prey by attacking
and holding its prey's neck. Once a South China tiger
has killed its prey, it drags it to an area with cover
before eating it. Given the relatively large size of
most of its prey, the South China tiger can consume
up to 88 pounds of meat in one sitting.
The South China tiger is the most seriously endangered
subspecies of tiger and one of the 10 most gravely endangered
animals in the world. The subspecies' numbers were reduced
dramatically in the second half of the 20th century
by a number of factors, including a pest elimination
campaign under Mao Zedong, hunting, and significant
deforestation. It is considered critically endangered
by the IUCN, but may be extinct in the wild; no official
sightings of the South China tiger in the wild have
occurred since the early 1970s.
There are currently 59 known captive South China tigers,
all of which reside within China. These tigers are descended
from only six animals, a consequence of the species'
critical endangerment and an impediment to the species'
prospects of survival; the genetic diversity and rates
of successful breeding necessary to maintain the subspecies
are gravely low. Currently, breeding efforts to reintroduce
the South China tiger to the wild are responding to
About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals
http://www.wildlife-animals.com an educational wildlife
and animal website.