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Sumatran Tiger - Panthera tigris sumatrae
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Sumatran Tiger

Sumatran Tigers are extremely endangered with only 400 individual animals are estimated to exist in the wild and less than 200 in worldwide zoos. The Sumatran Tiger subspecies are native only to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. The Sumatran Tiger is the smallest tiger subspecies alive today. Males weighing roughly 260 pounds compared to the average 650 pounds reached by the Siberian Tiger. Females are very small comparatively as well obtaining weights between 150 to 200 pounds. Sumatra provides a varying landscape in which this subspecies lives. From peat-moss forest, submountain and mountain forest as well as lowland forest. As a result, the Sumatran Tiger's coat has evolved slightly different from the other tiger subspecies. This evolution adaptation to their environment give the them the darkest coat of all tigers. The Sumatran Tiger has wide black stripes that are closely spaced, sometimes doubled up on each other. These stripes also run down the animal's forelegs, a distinction setting them apart from the Siberian Tiger.

Picture Sumatran Tiger and Cub
Taronga ZooSydney, Australia

Sumatran Tiger

Native prey includes muntjak deer (a very small deer species), wild boars, wild pigs, and rusa (a large deer). Prey densities on Sumatra are sufficient to sustain the inhabiting tigers. Thus a lack of food items is not considered a factor in their dwindling numbers. The primary threat to this rare tiger species is encroachment by man and habitat destruction. Sumatra's neighboring Indonesian island, Java has a tremendous population of about 110 million people. Every year about six hundred thousand people immigrate from neighboring Java into Sumatra. This influx is compounded by the fact that Java's population increases by two million each year. This yearly population burst on Java puts even greater pressures on Sumatra to absorb even more immigrants. So far it is estimated that Sumatra has lost a staggering 65 to 80 percent of its pristine forests.

As stated, habitat protection is the key again to the survival of the Sumatran Tiger. If nothing is done to stop human encroachment on Sumatra, this subspecies will become extinct like the Javan Tiger (last seen in 1975).

Scientific Name: Panthera tigris sumatrae
Range: Indonesian Island of Sumatra
Average Weight:
  Female: 81kg - 100kg (180 - 220 pounds)
  Male: 100kg - 173kg (220- 380 pounds)
Size (Length):
  Female: 1.8m - 2.2m (6'-8" - 7'-4")
  Male: 2.2m - 2.7m (7'-2" - 8'-9")
Diet: All tigers are carnivorous. Sumatran Tiger prey consists mostly of the smaller muntjak deer, antelope, wild boar and wild pigs and a variety of other smaller mammals.
Gestation Period: 100-119 Days (Averaging 103 Days)
Cub Maturity: 18 months - 2 Years
Cubs Per Litter: (Usually 2-3 cubs) Cubs are born blind and weigh 2-3 pounds. 18-26 month intervals.
Lifespan: 14-16 Years
Predators: Man. Particularly in the remaining Tiger subspecies, by poaching the tiger particularly in the Asian marketplace in spite of its protected status as an Endangered Species. Tigers are illegally poached for their beautiful fur and body parts. Tigers are revered to have mystical, magical powers by ancient culture and every single part of the tiger is used in the illicit markets that threaten their survival.
Social Structure: Solitary, except during mating season. Male territory may sometimes overlap.
Territory Size: 257km (160 miles)
Population (Wild): 400 - 500
  Captive (SSP): 250 in Zoos worldwide
Conservation Status: CITES Appendix 1. (All wildcats are listed on CITES Appendix I or II).

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