There were nine subspecies of tigers in the wild, but now only six subspecies remaining. Three other subspecies have gone extinct in the last century due to pressures from human activities.
Every tiger has a unique black-striped pattern that goes skin deep; this is unique among the big cats. Tigers vary in body size, coat color and markings depending on geographic location. Tigers occur in all types of habitat, from high alpine snow to dense tropical rainforest – all they need is access to prey to fulfill their needs for survival.
Tigers are mostly solitary creatures, living and hunting alone except to breed. Male territories overlap those of several female territories. Territory size is relative to prey densities.
Unlike other cats, tigers love water and they are great swimmers. In hot climates, they often lay in streams or water holes to cool their body temperature off.
After 3-4 years, tigers would reach sexual maturity, but it often takes longer to establish a territory and begin breeding. After a 4-month gestation period, female tigers give birth to 2-3 cubs in a secluded den, in either a rock, cave or thicker. At birth, tiger cubs are tiny, blind, and helpless – totally dependent on their mother. However, they grow quickly, quadrupling in size within the first month.
What are the main threats?
Loss of habitat, hunting and illegal trade is the main causes influenced to the survival of tigers in nature. In fact, tiger’s remaining habitats are shrinking and becoming increasingly fragmented. Consequently, their shrinking habitat not only affects tiger’s territories but also the population of tigers’ preys. Moreover, tigers are extremely vulnerable to poaching for the illegal trade in their body parts.
What is WWF-Vietnam doing?
Scientific name: Panthera tigris corbetti
Weight: 180 – 249 kg (397 - 550 lbs)
Length: average length (from nose to tail-tip) is 2.7m (106 inches)
Habitat: tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, dry forest
In 2010, WWF has raised an alarm about the dramatic decrease of Indochinese tiger’s population with the decline of 70% of their number in just slightly more than a decade. Now, six countries including Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, China, Myanmar and Vietnam are home to only around 350 Indochinese tigers.