Siberian Tiger Facts – Panthera Tigris Altaica

SIBERIAN tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) breed on the mountains of Sikhote-Alin extending as far southwest as Primorye Province. The will predominantly occur in the Russian Far East. Local people do not generally call them Siberian tigers; they refer to amur cats as Manchurian tiger, Korean tiger, and Ussurian tiger. It depends on the region where they are found. Let us get to know some of the most amazing Siberian tiger facts.

Interesting Siberian Tiger Facts – Panthera tigris altaica

  • The scientific name of an amur tiger was long thought to be Panthera tigris altaica but the latest IUCN report 2017 rejected the name. Instead they gave the name Panthera tigris tigris for big Siberian cats. The revised binomial name is going to be used for all tigers that occur in the mainland Asia.
  • Compared to other tigers, amur cats have got the longest furs precisely due to their harsh cold habitat. They are the only tigers that breed in freezing habitats.
  • The mean weight of an amur tiger ranges from 397 to 675 lb for males and (220–368 lb) for females. The heaviest of the specimens weighs up to 660 pounds.
  • Adult tigers are recognized by their reddish-rusty coat with narrow black stripes.
  • They have varied skulls with the average size reaching around 331 to 383 mm (13.0 to 15.1 in). In females. the average length of a skull is about 279.7 to 310.2 mm.
  • The summer coat isn’t only less bright it’s thinner too. The winter coat, on the other hand, displays silky and long hair. The length of the summer fur is about 15–17 mm while the winter fur averages 40–50 mm.
  • Siberian tigers have 90 to 115 mm long whiskers.
  • Like other Asian tigers, Amur tigers are excellent swimmers and they fancy making homes where water is abundant.

Siberian Tiger Distribution and Habitat

  • Currently Amur tigers occur in the Russian Far East—a region that lies between the Sea of Japan and China. Previously they were thought to be quite widespread all throughout Manchuria, Korean Peninsula, Lake Baikal, and north-eastern China.
  • The amur tiger habitat consists of Korean pine broadleaf and coniferous-deciduous forests.

Read More: Siberian Tiger Habitat

Amur Tiger Diet and Eating Habits

  • Siberian tigers predominantly feed on large animals if the prey is short. The tiger’s diet comprises wild boar, sika deer, Manchurian deer, and amur moose.
  • Brown bears, Asian black bear, rabbits, pikas, and salmon are the secondary diet.
  • If the prey is abundant the tiger prefers small animals.

Read More: Siberian Tiger Diet

Behavior and Range

  • Amur tigers do not establish very large territories. They will travel up to 620 miles but tigers do not cross borders to enter into adjacent country. The mother will only allow its young offspring to enter into the territory.
  • Most individuals are found within the range of 100 square kilometers.
  • Amur tigers are born swimmers and they are known to swim for few meters. Sometimes tigers also follow their prey into the water.
  • They can run pretty fast. Amur cats can reach the speed of 50 miles per hour.

Read More: Siberian Tiger Speed

siberian tiger facts
A Siberian tiger in an enclosure at a zoo in the forests near Vladivostok.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN WENDLE

Siberian Tiger Reproduction

  • They don’t have specific mating months. The female likely spends a week with the male it wishes to mate. However, she will be receptive for only three days.
  • After a gestation period of 105 days two to three cubs are born. Like Bengal tiger cubs, Siberian tiger cubs are also born blind and helpless. Juveniles will begin to see when they are seven days old. They will rely on their mother for hunting techniques, protection, and food for as long as 180 days.
  • The female produces cubs either in sheltered dens or in caves. But she must leave her cubs on their own and go out to bring some food. The female Siberian tiger can produce as many as six cubs in one litter.
  • Males reach the maturity at 4 to 5 years age while females become mature at 3 or 4 years.
  • Unlike females, males are more likely to get caught by poachers because they travel alone and they abandon their mother earlier than the females.
  • Amur tigers will survive up to 15 years or possibly 18 years at the most. But they can have a greater lifespan. You might want to check out in detail here.

Read More: Siberian Tiger Lifespan

siberian tiger facts
A team examines tiger tracks during an anti-poaching patrol in the Lazo Nature Reserve.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN WENDLE

Threats, Population, and Conservation Status

  • Illegal hunting, poaching, logging, and habitat loss are the primary cause of their decimation in the late 1930s. Thanks to the Siberian Tiger Project which was probably the first serious step to save amur tigers from extinction. The project was established in 1992.
  • They are showing signs of recovery but since the total population is still under 600, the Siberian tiger is an endangered species.
  • The Russian government also launched the Tiger Response Team to thwart poachers. Furthermore, Global Tiger Day is observed on July 29th to disseminate the tiger’s concern and their overall role in the northern Siberia’s ecology.

Read More: Why are Siberian Tigers Endangered?


References

Zimov, S. A. (2005). “Pleistocene Park: Return of the Mammoth’s Ecosystem”. Science308 (5723): 796–8.

Karanth, U. (2001). The Way of the Tiger : natural history and conservation of the endangered big cat. Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press.

A Siberian tiger appears in Heilongjiang China Archived 2010-12-18 at the Wayback Machine. 22 June 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2010.

Seryodkin, I. (2006). “The ecology, behavior, management and conservation status of brown bears in Sikhote-Alin” (in Russian). Far Eastern National University, Vladivostok, Russia. pp. 1–252. Archived from the original on 2013-12-24.

Sunquist, M. (2002). Wild Cats of the World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

I'm excited to share with you my passion for these elusive yet majestic creatures dwelling on earth. This richly illustrated work brings me close to Russia's iconic big cat, so I could explore as to how it lives and how it interacts with others of its own kind.

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