There are five subspecies of Tigers living from the coldest parts of Siberia to the hot and humid forests of South East Asia. Three more subspecies are now extinct. The Panthera Tigris as it is known in latin is the biggest of the big cats. The Siberian Tiger is the biggest of them all.
Sometimes Tigers are white. These are not albino Tigers, it is a recessive gene. Unfortunately because of their rarity white Tigers were bred by humans and are now suffering from inbreeding. That is only one of the reasons they are threatened.
Loss of habitat and of food sources are contributing to dwindling populations. Poaching is probably the cruellest culprit of the decline in Tiger populations around the world. The Chinese Tiger (P.t.amoyensis) and the Siberian Tiger (P.t.altaica) are under extreme threat of extinction.
According to BBC Wildlife magazine (February 2004), there are more privately owned Tigers in the U.S. than there are left in the wild.
These superb felines deserve better! Please help them.
click on the photographs to see larger versions. All photos on this page are © Sverre Aarseth
Other Big Cats
Big Cats like their domestic cousins are carnivorous.
The Snow Leopard is another endangered feline species from central Asia and the Himalayas. Revenge killings by shepherds contributes to their decline.
Of the five Lynx species the Iberian Lynx is the most threatened. It is also exclusive to the Iberian peninsula and its population is estimated to be of the order of 100.
The Lynx is the only West-European Big Cat and is still hunted in some countries.
Pumas are also known as Cougar or Mountain Lions and many more. In fact, they are the mammal with the most names. The Puma is a large North-American Cat with a golden featureless fur although cubs are born spotted.
Lions are unique among Big Cats not only for the males' long haired mane but also because they are the only Cat to live in groups, or prides. Lions used to be widespread across Eurasia and Africa but are now almost exclusively found in Africa.
Although conservation efforts across the African continent have helped lions survive the invasion of man, their fate is now at risk again because of disease. Big Cats are not free of enemies. Hyenas will attack lions!
There are a number of Big Cat species but without our help that number will fall dramatically. If we keep destroying their habitat and livelihood, Big Cats will disappear from the surface of the Earth.
Some Feline links (courtesy of Muon)
World Wildlife Fund: Information about the species and the state of the Tiger population.
The Sumatran Tiger Trust: Programme of conservation of the Sumatran Tiger
Tigers in Crisis: Tiger information site by ecojournalist Craig Kasnoff
Wildly Wise Project Tiger: Conservation and parks for Tigers in India
Save China's Tigers: Tiger conservation in China
Wikipedia Tiger article: Extensive information about Tigers from the open source encyclopedia.
IUCN Red List, Tiger entry: The World Conservations Union's list of threatened species: Tigers are endangered.
IUCN Red List, Big Cats: All big cats listed as threatened.
Tiger Territory: extensive information about Tigers including historical records and extinct species.
SOS Lynx: Trying to save the Iberian Lynx from extinction.
International Snow Leopard Trust: Conservation Charity based in the U.S.
Africat UK: Saving African Big Cats
Cheetah.org: Cheetah Conservation Fund
We want more: Suggest a Tiger and Big Cat website to add to this list!