Are you a fan of Siberian Tigers? Or maybe you have never heard of this species before and want to know more?
Whatever the case may be in this piece you will find everything that you should know about this beautiful and endangered animal.
Siberian tigers are found predominantly in the forests of Russia but they can also be found in North Korea and some parts of China.
They can thrive in a range of habitats, including the harsh environment of Siberia and the foliage-filled forests of the Amur Basin.
Find out more about the Siberian Tiger below!
How Many Siberian Tigers Are Left?
Siberian tigers were first spotted in Eastern Russia in the mid-19th century by expeditionists from Russia.
Archaeologists have since found paintings and drawings that make them estimate that the Siberian tiger has been known to man from as ancient as 6,000 years ago.
It is believed that the Siberian tiger initially inhabited Siberia, North and South Korea, and as far east as Mongolia, which highlights how the population of Siberian tigers has been affected as they are not known to inhabit even half of this area anymore.
It is estimated that there are approximately 400 adult Siberian tigers still living in the wild. The majority of these tigers are inhabiting Eastern Russia.
The ecosystem and local culture is hugely benefited by the presence of this large creature.
As the population of Siberian tigers continues to dwindle one main reason for this is poachers, who are estimated to be responsible for the death of between 30 to 50 tigers each year.
The pelts and body parts of poached Siberian tigers are sold for a profit as they are often used in traditional Asian medicine and are believed to cure a huge number of ailments.
Did The Siberian Tiger Go Extinct?
As poaching continues and the number of adult Siberian tigers in the wild continues to rapidly drop it looks likely that this species could become extinct in the near future.
Habitat loss also plays a role in the death of adult tigers and young tigers.
Habitats are destroyed due to global warming and human greed for clearing beautiful spaces and replacing them with buildings.
As a result of all of this, Siberian tigers are listed as endangered animals on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.
More than 142,000 species are on this list and more are added each year.
Researchers and scientists continue to search for ways to save these species and the population is closely monitored to try and prevent numbers from continuing to decrease each year.
Which Is Bigger – Siberian Or Bengal Tiger?
The Bengal tiger is another extremely large species with adults growing anywhere from 6 to 10 feet in length.
These animals can reach their optimum size when living in an environment that they can thrive in and so sizes do vary.
On the other hand, Siberian tigers can grow up to between 7 to 12 feet in length, which makes them bigger than the Bengal tiger.
There is a big difference in the overall size of the male adults between the two species, with the Siberian tiger being long in length and also large in size, weighing anywhere up to 700 pounds.
Male Bengal tigers typically weigh between 390 to 570 pounds, which means they are more similar in weight to female Siberian tigers, as they can weigh on average up to 400 pounds.
Female Bengal tigers are smaller than female Siberian tigers, and they typically weigh between 220 to 350 pounds.
The weight of an animal will depend on the availability of food in its habitat.
Tigers can become weak and malnourished if they do not have smaller prey animals that they can live on.
Ultimately, due to the length of the Siberian tiger, it will always be longer than the Bengal but its weight may vary depending on its habitat.
Is The Siberian Tiger The Biggest Tiger?
Among the feline species in the world, tigers are the largest, and Siberian tigers are the largest species within the tiger family.
This surprises many people as Lions are often assumed to be the largest. Within the tiger species, Siberian tigers are the largest.
The smallest tiger is the Sumatran tiger which is found in the rainforest on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.
The biggest that Sumatran tigers typically get is approximately 8 feet long and 310 pounds.
These small tiger species are also on the critically endangered International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.
Siberian tigers are not only the biggest animal within the tiger species, but they are also incredibly powerful.
The strength of tigers is typically measured by looking at the tiger’s run, leap and bite force.
Siberian tigers have high readings across all of these measurements, with a bite force of 1,000 pounds per square inch.
As they are fast, can leap far, and bite hard they have the ability to quickly kill their prey using only their jaws, this is even the case for immense prey such as elk which are also large animals.
Are Amur Tiger And Siberian Tiger The Same?
Siberian tigers are called Amur tigers in modern times as they are mostly inhabiting the Amur basin now which has the Amur River running through it and this name is a reflection of where you now find this species.
When first discovered, Siberian tigers were called Panthera tigris altaica so this new modern name is the third name that this species has held during its existence.
If the habitat of this tiger species continues to be lost due to logging this tiger may be forced into a new habitat and there is no certainty that the tiger will not be renamed again to reflect these changes.
As habitat is lost the Siberian or Amur tiger also loses access to prey and food sources and so they can often turn to domestic livestock for food which is why more people think it should be legal to hunt these animals as they are seen as a threat or a pest in some areas of the Amur basin.
What Eats The Siberian Tiger?
The biggest threat to the Siberian tiger, both male, and female, is the human population. Our actions affect their habitat and some activities lead to death.
Global warming, deforestation, and logging are direct reasons why the habitat that this tiger species lives in has been culled and activities such as poaching and illegal hunting are a direct reason for this animal being critically endangered.
If a Siberian tiger is poached the carcass is taken away but if the tiger dies from natural causes then the carcass is left and fed on by any carnivore in the area as the tiger no longer poses a threat to smaller animals.
Mature bears are the only documented animals that have the ability to kill Siberian tigers but they primarily attack the young cubs rather than the adults.
Can Bengal And Siberian Tigers Mate?
Tiger subspecies are able to breed as often the males can overpower smaller females. Siberian and Bengal tigers can mate and this can result in a pure white cub.
Crossbreeding results in the birth of generic tigers and these tigers do not belong to any species and are not protected under conservation laws.
Crossbreeding is rare but in the wild, it can occur, particularly in areas where multiple species co-exist.
Crossbreeding can mean that certain characteristics of breeds are lost and then the cubs are less likely to thrive in habitats where they need to be a certain size.
Pure white cubs can be sold for a profit and so some captive Bengal and Siberian tigers will be forced to breed for monetary gain in certain establishments.
Animal conservation and rights groups try to prevent this from happening but it is a difficult thing to police when it happens under their radar.
Siberian tigers are truly incredible creatures and their presence should be respected.
With the likelihood of Siberian tigers becoming extinct in the near future becoming more likely every year it is more important now than ever to take the time to learn about this species and to take measures to help this animal continue to thrive and exist in the wild.
Supporting animal conservation charities that specifically work with and benefit animals that are close to extinction can be a great way of benefiting the fight to keep this, and other species on our planet for longer.
We hope that this piece answered any questions you may have had about Siberian tigers and that you now feel more familiar with this giant feline.
It is reported that over 650 Siberian tigers live in captivity and if you choose to go and see a Siberian tiger ensure you are visiting an animal that is being looked after and not being held for the owners or establishment’s profit.