Of the eight original subspecies of tigers, three have become extinct in the last 60 years, an average of one every 20 years.
The number of tigers in the 1900's --over 100,000 -- dropped to 4,000 in the 1970's. Today, they are a critically endangered species with the total of all the wild populations of the five remaining subspecies (Bengal tiger, Indochinese tiger, Siberian tiger, South China tiger, and Sumatran tiger) is an estimated 3,000 - 3,600 tigers.
The Bengal tiger, or Royal Bengal tiger, roams a wide range of habitats including high altitudes, tropical and subtropical rainforests, mangroves, and grasslands. They are primarily found in parts of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar (click for more).
Indochinese tigers are located across southern China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia Laos, Thailand and eastern Burma. It is estimated fewer than 1,500 Indochinese tigers are left in the wild. However since the tiger has a very wide range, it makes it difficult for researchers to determine the exact numbers. Some scientists believe the numbers may be a few as 1,200 (click for more).
The Siberian tiger (or Amur- tiger), is considered a critically endangered species with the primary threats to its' survival in the wild being poaching and habitat loss from intensive logging and development. It is estimated the wild population of Siberian tigers at around 350-450 tigers (click for more).
The South China tiger is the smallest of all the tiger subspecies, and it is the most critically endangered. Little is know about their exact numbers in the wild, but some estimates would put the number at under 20 tigers. Others would say that estimate is high. The reality is that no South China tiger has been seen in the wild for the last 20 years (click for more).
The Sumatran tiger is found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra off the Malaysian Peninsula. Their habitat ranges from lowland forest to mountain forest and includes evergreen, swamp and tropical rain forests. It is estimated that only between 500-600 Sumatran tigers remain in the wild, and the actual number may be as low as 400. And their population is dwindling rapidly (click for more).
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