Tiger Russia Postcard
The Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is a rare subspecies of tiger (P. tigris). Also known as the Amur, North China, Manchurian, or Korean Tiger, it is the largest tiger subspecies of the world.****************Male Siberian Tigers weigh commonly up to 280 kilograms. An average male siberian tiger weighs arround 250 kg, but they can weigh as much as 306 kg. Females are generally smaller and weigh usually 100-167 kg. Old Males reach normally a head and body length of 190-220 cm. The largest male with largely assured references was 350 cm "over curves" in total length. (The tail length in old males is about one meter.) At these sizes, the Siberian Tiger is the largest subspecies of tiger. This, however, is not as large as the liger, a panthera hybrid found almost exclusively in captivity. Apart from its size, the Siberian Tiger is differentiated from other tiger subspecies by its paler fur and dark brown (rather than black) stripes. As well as colour their fur is thicker and longer to keep them warm in the freezing temperatures of their habitat. Siberian Tigers also have larger feet than most other sub-species to facilitate movement through snow.*******************The Siberian Tiger is critically endangered. In the early 1900s, it lived throughout the northeastern China, Korean Peninsula, northeastern Mongolia and southeastern Russia. Today, it has virtually disappeared from South Korea and is largely confined to a very small part of Russia's southern Far East (the Amur-Ussuri region of Primorsky and Khabarovsky Krai).There are very few tigers in northeastern China and fewer still in North Korea. Captive breeding and conservation programs are currently active. The tiger population in the wild was probably lower than 50 in the 1930s, increasing to more than 200 in 1982. Poaching has been brought under better control thanks to frequent road inspections. ************************** A count, taken in 1996 reported 430 Siberian Tigers in the wild. However, Russian conservation efforts have led to a slight increase, or at least to a stable population of the subspecies, as the number of individuals in the Siberian Forests was estimated between 431 and 529 in the last count in 2005. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the latest Russian Census reports put this number to be anywhere between 480 and 520 without including the small numbers of this species present in mainland China. The Hengdaohezi Feline Breeding Centre in the northern Heilongjiang province of China plans to release 620 Siberian tigers in 2007, after its numbers grew from eight to 750.