The Amur tiger almost became extinct in the wild during the 1940s when fewer than 40 wild individuals survived. Since then rigorous anti-poaching methods in combination with other conservation efforts in Russia have brought the Amur tiger back from the brink of extinction to a fairly stable population of around 450. Poaching of tigers and their prey together with increased logging in their territories, forest fires, the construction of roads and poor law enforcement measures continue to threaten the survival of this subspecies.
The Taiga forests where the Amur tigers live are bordered by treeless Tundra to the north and the steppes to the south. This is one of the coldest habitats in the world and suffers long winters due to high latitude which mean these tigers have a much thicker coat than those in tropical climates. Amur tigers, in their almost continuous range, are one the largest undivided populations in the world.
The thick fur of the Amur tiger has a pale golden hue and fewer stripes than other sub-species. The underside of the tiger being white with dark stripes. The pattern of these stripes is unique to each individual tiger and is also found on the tiger’s skin.
Scientific name: Panthera tigris altaica
Habitat: Coniferous, scrub oak and birch woodlands
Location: Mostly found in Eastern Russia, with a few in North-eastern China and the northern parts of North Korea.
IUCN Listing: Endangered
Population: Around 450-500 individuals remain in the wild but some reports suggest that there may be fewer than 400.
Size: Can measure up to 3.5 metres in length and weighs between 240-400kg. This is the largest sub-species of tiger.
Major Threats: Poaching and habitat destruction are the major threats to extinction in the wild.