South China tiger

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South China tiger
In the Shanghai Zoo

Critically endangered, possibly extinct in the wild  (IUCN 3.1)[1]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Pantherinae
Genus: Panthera
P. t. tigris
Trinomial name
Panthera tigris tigris
(Linnaeus, 1758)
South China Tiger natural habitat (black)

formerly P. t. amoyensis (Hilzheimer, 1905)

The South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis) is an almost extinct subspecies of the tiger. There are now 20-30 of them left in the wild and 60 left in captivity.[2] It is one of the world's ten most endangered animals and the most endangered of the six surviving tiger subspecies. The South China tiger is also known as the Chinese, Amoy, or Xiamen tiger.[3]

Description[change | change source]

It can be distinguished from other tiger subspecies by its narrow face, its longer nose, more intense orange colour, short fur, longer legs, and shorter stripes which are spaced far apart from each other compared to other tiger subspecies. The South China tiger has the least amount of stripes out of all the tiger subspecies, and is the second smallest tiger.[3]

A male South China tiger is around 2.3 to 2.65 m (91 to 104 in) long, and weighs 130 to 175 kg (290 to 390 lb). Females are smaller and are around 2.2 to 2.4 m (87 to 94 in) long, and weigh 110 to 115 kg (240 to 250 lb). The smallest length of the skull in males is 318 to 343 mm (12.5 to 13.5 in), and in females 273 to 301 mm (10.7 to 11.9 in).[3]

Behaviour[change | change source]

The South China tiger is a carnivorous predator, hunting its prey by stalking it until the South China tiger has the opportunity to catch it off guard. South China tigers usually hunt large mammals like deer, wild boar, cattle and goats.[4]

The South China tiger is found on mountains, and in temperate, upland forests of southern-China.[4]

Reproduction[change | change source]

Females are pregnant for around 3 to 4 months before giving birth to around 5 cubs. Newborn South China tiger cubs weigh about 1 kg (2 lb) and are blind and helpless. The mother feeds them milk for about 2 months and then the South China tiger cubs are introduced to meat. South China tiger cubs depend on their mother for the first 18 months and then they start hunting on their own.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. Nyhus, P. (2008). "Panthera tigris ssp. amoyensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T15965A5334628.en
  2. "savechinastigers". Archived from the original on 29 August 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Tiger Facts | Save China's Tigers". 2012. Archived from the original on 29 August 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "South China Tiger (Panthera Tigris Amoyensis) - Animals - A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Information, Pictures, Videos, Resources and Links". 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.