I have been writing about tigers in a series of posts titled “The Disappearing Stripes in the Year of The Tiger. The previous 3 can be found at the following links:
Part I – The Disappearing Stripes
Part II – The Amur Tiger
Part III – The Bengal Tiger
This is the 4th part of “The Disappearing Stripes in the year of the Tiger” getting to know the Sumatran Tiger this week. The Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is the smallest of the 5 surviving species of tigers today. They are critically endangered due to habitat destruction and poaching.
Picture Courtesy Brian Mckay
The Sumatran Tiger has lived exclusively, for over a million years, in the once extensive moist tropical jungles of the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Their population in the wild is now heavily fragmented and is estimated to range between 400 and 500 individuals. Groups of between a few and several dozen tigers can be found principally in and around Sumatra’s national parks.
What makes the Sumatran Tiger even more special as it has been genetically isolated in its unique environment which is an island, away from all the other species of tigers in Asia.
Interesting facts about the Sumatran Tiger:
- Sumatran male tigers average around 8’ in length and weigh around 265pounds.
- The Sumatran tigers have narrower stripes which make it easier for them to move in the jungle.
- Male Sumatran tigers have a more bearded and maned appearance.
- Webbing between their toes, when spread, enables the Sumatran tiger to be very fast swimmer.
- Less than 500 Sumatran tigers live in the wild in Sumatra.
- The largest population of about 110 Sumatran tigers lives in Gunung Leuser National Park.
- Indonesia has 65 captive Sumatran tigers living in zoos, 85 in European zoos and 20 in Australian zoos. There are 70 tigers managed by North American zoos.
- Loss of their natural habitat often leads tigers to move into settled areas in search of food, where they then encounter problems.
- The Sumatran has the darkest coat of all the tigers ranging from reddish-yellow through to deep orange, its broad black stripes are closely spaced and often doubled this helps them hide in the forest.
- Their Nocturnal vision is 6times as sharp as ours!
You can do your bit by helping save tigers HERE
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Info on Sumatran Tigers Sources: