The wild tiger is an iconic symbol of conservation. Nine different subspecies of this carnivore are recognized, three of which became extinct in the latter part of the 20th century : the Bali , Javan and Caspian tigers. The remaining subspecies are the Siberian, South China, Sumatran, Indochinese, Malayan and Bengal tigers.|
Tigers can vary in size tremendously among different subspecies, much more than Leopards and Lions. The Bengal, Caspian and Siberian tiger subspecies are the tallest and heaviest of the group. An average adult male Tiger from Northern India or Siberia outweighs an average adult male Lion by around 100 pounds. Females vary in length from about 80 to 110 inches and weigh around 150 to 400 pounds. Males vary in length from 100 to 160 inches, weighing anywhere from 200 to 700 pounds. Their body size correlates with climate, depending on where they live. Male Siberian tigers are the largest and can reach close to 700 pounds. The smallest living subspecies, the Sumatran tiger, has a body weight of about 175 to 300 pounds.
Their characteristic dark, vertical stripes patterning the body vary in their width, spacing, and length, and whether they are single or double stripes. The pattern and distribution of the stripes is unique to each tiger.
Poaching and habitat loss have occurred throughout much of the wild tiger's range and is now severely threatening its survival; as land becomes rapidly developed to meet the increasing demands of the Asian population, tiger populations become isolated in remaining fragments of wilderness and will ultimately die out.
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