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what type of tiger is the smallest
what is the smallest type of tiger,
sumatran tigers are the smallest of all tiger subspecies and in captivity can weigh up to 140kg.
They have a more bearded and maned appearance than other subspecies.
Sumatran tigers hunt wild pigs and deer but will take other prey opportunistically.
They are generally very shy and try to avoid people.
Sumatran tigers were previously known as Panthera tigris sumatrae but in 2017 the IUCN Cat Specialist Group. revised tiger taxonomy, recognising just two tiger subspecies: Panthera tigris sondaica, comprising the Sumatran and (now extinct) Javan and Balinese populations, and Panthera tigris tigris, comprising the Bengal, Malayan, Indochinese, South Chinese, Siberian and (extinct) Caspian tiger populations.
what type of tiger is the smallest,
1. They are the smallest tigers
There are five tiger subspecies and Sumatran tigers are the smallest.
2. They’re under threat in the wild
Conservationists estimate that there could be as few as 300 Sumatran tigers left in the wild.
3. Cubs learn to hunt quickly
Tiger cubs will start hunting from as young as one year old, but they’ll stay with their mother until they’re two years old.
4. They’ve been around for 2 million years!
Fossils of tiger remains in China show that tigers could be over 2 million years old!
5. They love water
Unlike like most of their cousins, tigers love swimming and will frequently cool off by having a dip in nearby rivers.
6. They’re unique
No two tigers are ever the same; each has its own unique stripe pattern.
7. They’re loud!
A tiger’s roar is so loud that is can be heard from two miles away!
8. They have narrow stripes
Sumatran tigers have the narrowest black stripes of any tiger subspecies. This is because they are ambush predators in the Indonesian jungle and need to blend in amongst the thick vegetation.
9. They can jump!
Tigers are excellent jumpers. Even when sitting down, a tiger can leap forward 10 metres!
10. They have five different types of whiskers
These whiskers pick up on vibrations their prey makes when moving through the jungle.
11. They have a strong bite
A tiger can bite down with the force of 1000 pounds!
12. The collective noun is a streak
A group of tigers is known as an ‘ambush’ or a ‘streak’.
what type of tiger is the smallest
Diet and hunting
Like all tigers, Sumatran tigers are carnivores. They will prey on almost any available animal, big or small. This includes fish, monkeys, wild boar, tapirs, and deer, among many others. They hunt at night and tend to make about one large kill a week.
They can run up to nearly 40 miles per hour, but only in short bursts, so they have to make the most of it. That’s why they’re ambush predators, slowly and silently stalking their prey until they’re ready to pounce. Habitat loss means Sumatran tigers are having to walk farther and farther in search of a meal—sometimes up to 18 miles.
The Sumatran tiger was described based on two zoological specimens that differed in skull size and striping pattern from Bengal and Javan tiger specimens. It is darker in fur colour and has broader stripes than the Javan tiger. Stripes tend to dissolve into spots near their ends, and on the back, flanks and hind legs are lines of small, dark spots between the regular stripes. The frequency of stripes is higher than in other subspecies. Males have a prominent ruff, which is especially marked in the Sumatran tiger.
The Sumatran tiger is one of the smallest tigers. Males measure between the pegs 2.2 to 2.55 m (87 to 100 in) in head-to-body length, with the greatest skull length of 295 to 335 mm (11.6 to 13.2 in) and weigh 100 to 140 kg (220 to 310 lb). Females weigh 75 to 110 kg (165 to 243 lb) and measure 2.15 to 2.30 m (85 to 91 in) in length between the pegs with a greatest length of skull of 263 to 294 mm (10.4 to 11.6 in).
Sumatran tigers are solitary, except during courtship, when a male and female will spend several days together, mating often to ensure success. A female is pregnant for about a hundred days before giving birth to a litter of one to six cubs. The cubs stick with their mothers for about two years.
Habitat for the Sumatran tiger has been drastically reduced by clearing for agriculture, plantations and settlement. On many parts of the island, illegal timber harvesting and forest conversion are out of control. About 16.6 million acres of forest—larger than the state of West Virginia—were lost in Sumatra between 1985 and 1997. Even protected areas face problems. In addition, forest conversion has isolated national parks from one another.
Most tigers in Sumatra are killed deliberately for commercial gain. According to a survey from TRAFFIC, the global wildlife trade monitoring network, poaching for trade is responsible for over 78% of estimated Sumatran tiger deaths—amounting to at least 40 animals per year.
Despite intensified conservation and protection measures in Sumatra and the apparent global success in curtailing markets for tiger bone, there is no evidence that tiger poaching has declined significantly on the island since the early 1990s.
Sumatran Tigers generally hunt at dusk and can travel up to 20km in one night in search of food. Unlike other members of the cat family, the tiger cannot outrun its prey and needs to use camouflage to ambush a meal instead. This hunting method is slow and patient, stalking through dense cover until close enough to spring. They will run hoofed prey into water to slow them down. A throat bite is used and death is caused by suffocation.
Human wildlife conflict
Habitat destruction forces tigers into settled areas in search of food and where they are more likely to come into conflict with people. Human-tiger conflict is a serious problem in Sumatra. People have been killed or wounded, and livestock fall prey to tigers. Retaliatory action by villagers can result in the killing of tigers.
“With so much deforestation and poaching in Sumatra, wild tigers face a very difficult future, but we have the tools available to reverse their decline if the clearance of their forest can be halted.”
In many regions, tiger populations are fragmented into small groups. They are left vulnerable to diseases such as Canine Distemper Virus, (CDV), as well as a host of genetic problems caused by a reduced breeding pool.
Strike a pose
Striking orange fur striped with black above and white underside, the stripes of a Sumatran Tiger are much closer together than in other tiger species which helps them to camouflage. The pattern of stripes is unique to each animal. With strong front paws and five toes, their sharp claws are retractable and can be pulled inside while they walk which helps to keep these important hunting tools sharp.
Reports estimate that deforestation and agricultural conversion has resulted in the clearing of about 30 million acres (12 million hectares) of Sumatran forest in the past 22 years, a loss of nearly 50 percent. In addition to deforestation, the Sumatran tiger is also threatened by habitat fragmentation, which occurs even in protected areas (though to a lesser extent than in unprotected regions). The encroachment into tiger habitat has triggered increasingly frequent and deadly conflicts between humans and tigers.
And poaching and illegal trade in tiger parts (ground bone for folk cures, genitalia for food, and skin for fur) continues to pose an enormous threat. According to a report by Shepherd and Magnus, from 1998 to 2002 at least 51 tigers per year were killed, 76 percent for trade and 15 percent because of human-tiger conflict. A 2007 survey by Ng and Nemora found the parts of at least 23 tigers for sale in markets around the island of Sumatra. Predators include hawks and other raptors, wild cats, and large snakes.
The Sumatran tiger occurs in about 58,321 km² of forested habitat in 12 isolated Tiger Conservation Landscapes totalling 88,351 km² (Sanderson et al. 2006), with about 37,000 km² protected in ten national parks (Govt of Indonesia 2007).
It is estimated that there are around 400 – 500 individual tigers wild in Sumatra in and around these isolated pockets of protected land. Three of the protected areas are classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites but all are in danger of losing this status due to threats from poaching, illegal logging, agricultural encroachment and planned road building.
Tigers populations in Sumatra
The issue is that those tigers are scattered in various habitats or various size and level of encroachment.
The global tiger conservation strategy is to preserve “Secure Source Populations” (SSP) with more than 25 females. In 2012, Luskin concluded that the only existing SSP were Gunung Leuser and Kerinci Seblat. All other known habitats didn’t have enough female to be sustainable on the long run.
Three other habitats were nonetheless close to qualify (with a mean estimate of 18 to 21 females) : Sibolga and Batang Toru landscape, Batang Gadis and Rimbo-Panti landscape, and the Rimbang Baling and Batang Hari landscape.
In the mid-20th century, 12 SSP potentially existed. Luskin’s statistical model shows that mean tiger density increased from 1996 to 2014. This suggests that the main driver of tiger’s population decline is now the disappearance of its habitat, mainly in Jambi, Riau, South Sumatra and Bengkulu.