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Siberian tiger
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{{Redirect|Amur tiger|the leopard-cat subspecies|Amur leopard cat}}{{pp|small=yes}}{{Subspeciesbox| fossil_range = Holocene| name = Siberian tiger| image = P.t.altaica Tomak Male.jpg| image_caption = Male at the Leipzig Zoological Garden| image2 = P.t.altaica female.jpg| image2_caption = Female| status = EN| status_system = IUCN3.1
THE IUCN RED LIST OF THREATENED SPECIES IUCN >AUTHOR=MIQUELLE, D. AUTHOR3=SERYODKIN, I. TITLE=PANTHERA TIGRIS SSP. ALTAICA URL=HTTPS://WWW.IUCNREDLIST.ORG/SPECIES/15956/5333650, 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-2.RLTS.T15956A5333650.en, | genus = Panthera| species = tigris| species_link = Tiger| subspecies = tigrisCarl Linnaeus>Linnaeus, 1758)| synonyms =
  • P. t. altaica (Temminck, 1884)
  • P. t. coreensis
  • P. t. mandshurica
  • P. t. mikadoi
id=14000261 heading=Subspecies Panthera tigris altaica}}| range_map = TigerMapRussianFarEast.jpg| range_map_caption = Distribution of the Siberian tiger (in green)}}The Siberian tiger is a Panthera tigris tigris population in the Russian Far East and Northeast China, and possibly North Korea.REPORT, Rak, K. C., Miquelle, D. G., Pikunov, D. G., A survey of tigers and leopards and prey resources in the Paektusan area, North Korea, in winter, 1998, 16 June 2012,weblink It once ranged throughout the Korean Peninsula, north China, Russian Far East, and eastern Mongolia. Today, this population inhabits mainly the Sikhote Alin mountain region in southwest Primorye Province in the Russian Far East. In 2005, there were 331–393 adult and subadult Siberian tigers in this region, with a breeding adult population of about 250 individuals. The population had been stable for more than a decade due to intensive conservation efforts, but partial surveys conducted after 2005 indicate that the Russian tiger population was declining. An initial census held in 2015 indicated that the Siberian tiger population had increased to 480–540 individuals in the Russian Far East, including 100 cubs.WEB, WWF Russia,weblink Russia Announce Tiger Census Results!, 2015, tigers.panda.org, Worldwide Fund for Nature, June 7, 2015, WEB, Happy tigers: Siberian population continues to grow,weblink Hance, J., Mongabay.com, 2015, 13 June 2015, This was followed up by a more detailed census which revealed there was a total population of 562 wild Siberian tigers in Russia.NEWS, Sex imbalance as endangered Siberian tigers show signs of recovery,weblink The Siberian Times reporter, The Siberian Times, 2015, 18 December 2015, As of 2014, about 35 individuals were estimated to range in the international border area between Russia and China.JOURNAL, Estimating abundance and density of Amur tigers along the Sino–Russian border, Xiao, W., Feng, L., Mou, P., Miquelle, D. G., Hebblewhite, M., Goldberg, J. F., Robinson, H. S., Zhao, X., Zhou, B., Wang, T., Ge, J., Integrative Zoology, 2016, 11, 4, 322−332, 10.1111/1749-4877.12210, 27136188, The Siberian tiger is genetically close to the Caspian tiger of Central and Western Asia. Results of a phylogeographic study comparing mitochondrial DNA from Caspian tigers and living tiger subspecies indicate that the common ancestor of the Siberian and Caspian tigers colonized Central Asia from eastern China, via the Gansu−Silk Road corridor, and then subsequently traversed Siberia eastward to establish the Siberian tiger population in the Russian Far East.JOURNAL, Driscoll, C. A., Yamaguchi, N., Bar-Gal, G. K., Roca, A. L., Luo, S., Macdonald, D. W., O'Brien, S. J., 10.1371/journal.pone.0004125, Mitochondrial Phylogeography Illuminates the Origin of the Extinct Caspian Tiger and Its Relationship to the Amur Tiger, 2009, PLoS ONE, 4, e4125, 19142238, 1, 2624500, 2009PLoSO...4.4125D, The Caspian and Siberian tiger populations were the northernmost in mainland Asia.BOOK, Heptner, V. G., Sludskij, A. A., 1972, 1992, Mlekopitajuščie Sovetskogo Soiuza. Moskva: Vysšaia Škola, Mammals of the Soviet Union. Volume II, Part 2. Carnivora (Hyaenas and Cats), Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation, Washington DC, Tiger,weblink 95–202, The Siberian tiger was also called Amur tiger, Manchurian tiger, Korean tiger, and Ussurian tiger, depending on the region where individuals were observed.JOURNAL, Mazák, V., Vratislav Mazák, 1981, Panthera tigris, 152, 152, 1–8, 3504004,weblink Mammalian Species, 10.2307/3504004, JOURNAL, Loukashkin, A. S., 1938, The Manchurian Tiger, The China Journal, 28, 3, 127–133,

Taxonomy

Following Carl Linnaeus's first descriptions of the species, several tiger specimens were described:
  • Felis tigris altaicus was the scientific name proposed by Coenraad Jacob Temminck in 1844 for tiger skins with long hairs and dense coats sold in Japan, which originated in Korea, most likely from animals killed in the Altai and Pisihan Mountains.BOOK, Temminck, C. J., 1844, Aperçu général et spécifique sur les Mammifères qui habitent le Japon et les Iles qui en dépendent, Fauna Japonica sive Descriptio animalium, quae in itinere per Japoniam, jussu et auspiciis superiorum, qui summum in India Batava imperium tenent, suscepto, annis 1825 - 1830 collegit, notis, observationibus et adumbrationibus illustravit Ph. Fr. de Siebold, Leiden, Lugduni Batavorum, Siebold, P. F. v., Temminck, C. J., Schlegel, H.,weblink
  • Tigris longipilis proposed by Leopold Fitzinger in 1868 was based on a long-haired tiger skin in the Natural History Museum, Vienna.JOURNAL, Fitzinger, L. J., 1868, Revision der zur natürlichen Familie der Katzen (Feles) gehörigen Formen, Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe, 58, 421–519,weblink
  • Felis tigris var. amurensis proposed by Charles Dode in 1871 was based on tiger skins from the Amur region.JOURNAL, Dode, C., 1871, Felis tigris, var. amurensis, Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, May, 480–481,weblink
  • Felis tigris coreensis by Emil Brass in 1904 was a tiger skin from Korea.BOOK, Brass, E., 1904, Nutzbare Tiere Ostasiens. Pelz- und Jagdtiere, Haustiere, Seetiere, J. Neumann, Neudamm,
The validity of several tiger subspecies was questioned in 1999. Most putative subspecies described in the 19th and 20th centuries were distinguished on basis of fur length and colouration, striping patterns and body size – characteristics that vary widely within populations. Morphologically, tigers from different regions vary little, and gene flow between populations in those regions is considered to have been possible during the Pleistocene. Therefore, it was proposed to recognize only two tiger subspecies as valid, namely Panthera tigris tigris in mainland Asia, and P. t. sondaica in the Greater Sunda Islands and possibly in Sundaland.BOOK, Kitchener, A., 1999, Tiger distribution, phenotypic variation and conservation issues,weblink Seidensticker, J., Christie, S., Jackson, P., Riding the Tiger: Tiger Conservation in Human-Dominated Landscapes, Cambridge University Press, 19–39, 978-0-521-64835-6, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120423162028weblink">weblink 2012-04-23, BOOK, Kitchener, A., Yamaguchi, N., What is a Tiger? Biogeography, Morphology, and Taxonomy, 53–84,weblink Tigers of the World: The Science, Politics and Conservation of Panthera tigris, Tilson, R., Nyhus, P. J., 2010, Academic Press, Second, London, Burlington, 978-0-08-094751-8, In 2015 morphological, ecological and molecular traits of all putative tiger subspecies were analysed in a combined approach. Results support distinction of the two evolutionary groups: continental and Sunda tigers. The authors proposed recognition of only two subspecies, namely P. t. tigris comprising the Bengal, Malayan, Indochinese, South China, Siberian and Caspian tiger populations, and P. t. sondaica comprising the Javan, Bali and Sumatran tiger populations.JOURNAL, Planning tiger recovery: Understanding intraspecific variation for effective conservation, Wilting, A., Courtiol, A., P., Christiansen, J., Niedballa, A. K., Scharf, L., Orlando, N., Balkenhol, H., Hofer, S., Kramer-Schadt, J., Fickel, A. C., Kitchener, A., 2015, 11, 5, 10.1126/sciadv.1400175, 26601191, 4640610, Science Advances, e1400175, 2015SciA....1E0175W, In 2017, the Cat Specialist Group revised felid taxonomy and now recognizes all the tiger populations in mainland Asia as P. t. tigris.JOURNAL, Kitchener, A. C., Breitenmoser-Würsten, C., Eizirik, E., Gentry, A., Werdelin, L., Wilting, A., Yamaguchi, N., Abramov, A. V., Christiansen, P., Driscoll, C., Duckworth, J. W., Johnson, W., Luo, S.-J., Meijaard, E., O’Donoghue, P., Sanderson, J., Seymour, K., Bruford, M., Groves, C., Hoffmann, M., Nowell, K., Timmons, Z., Tobe, S., 2017, A revised taxonomy of the Felidae: The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group, Cat News, Special Issue 11, 66−68,weblink

Phylogeny

File:Tiger phylogenetic relationships.png|thumb|Phylogenetic relationship of tiger populations Note the close relationship between the Caspian (PTV or P. t. virgata) and Siberian (ALT or P. t. altaica) tigers.]]Several reports have been published since the 1990s on the genetic makeup of the Siberian tiger and its relationship to other subspecies. One of the most important outcomes has been the discovery of low genetic variability in the wild population, especially when it comes to maternal or mitochondrial DNA lineages.JOURNAL, Luo, S.-J., Kim, J.-H., Johnson, W. E., van der Walt, J., Martenson, J., Yuhki, N., Miquelle, D. G., Uphyrkina, O., Goodrich, J. M., Quigley, H. B., Tilson, R., Brady, G., Martelli, P., Subramaniam, V., McDougal, C., Hean, S., Huang, S.-Q., Pan, W., Karanth, U. K., Sunquist, M., Smith, J. L. D., O'Brien, S. J., 2004, Phylogeography and genetic ancestry of tigers (Panthera tigris), PLoS Biology, 2, 12, e442, 15583716, 534810, 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020442, It seems that a single mtDNA haplotype almost completely dominates the maternal lineages of wild Siberian tigers. On the other hand, captive tigers appear to show higher mtDNA diversity. This may suggest that the subspecies has experienced a very recent genetic bottleneck caused by human pressure, with the founders of the captive population having been captured when genetic variability was higher in the wild.JOURNAL, 2005, Potential genetic consequences of a recent bottleneck in the Siberian tiger of the Russian Far East, Conservation Genetics (journal), Conservation Genetics, 5, 5, 707–713, 10.1007/s10592-004-1860-2, Russello, M. A., Gladyshev, E., Miquelle, D., Caccone, A., JOURNAL, Platt, J. R., 2009, Rare Siberian tigers face potential genetic bottleneck,weblink Scientific American, 4 November 2014, At the start of the 21st century, researchers from the University of Oxford, U.S. National Cancer Institute and Hebrew University of Jerusalem collected tissue samples from 20 of 23 Caspian tiger specimens kept in museums across Eurasia. They sequenced at least one segment of five mitochondrial genes and found a low amount of variability of the mitochondrial DNA in Caspian tigers as compared to other tiger subspecies. They re-assessed the phylogenetic relationships of tiger subspecies and observed a remarkable similarity between Caspian and Siberian tigers indicating that the Siberian tiger is the genetically closest living relative of the Caspian tiger, which strongly implies a very recent common ancestry. Based on phylogeographic analysis, they suggested that the ancestor of Caspian and Siberian tigers colonized Central Asia less than 10,000 years ago via the Gansu−Silk Road region from eastern China, and subsequently traversed eastward to establish the Siberian tiger population in the Russian Far East. The events of the Industrial Revolution may have been the critical factor in the reciprocal isolation of Caspian and Siberian tigers from what was likely a single contiguous population.Samples of 95 wild Amur tigers were collected throughout their native range to investigate questions relative to population genetic structure and demographic history. Additionally, targeted individuals from the North American ex situ population were sampled to assess the genetic representation found in captivity. Population genetic and Bayesian structure analyses clearly identified two populations separated by a development corridor in Russia. Despite their well-documented 20th century decline, the researchers failed to find evidence of a recent population bottleneck, although genetic signatures of a historical contraction were detected. This disparity in signal may be due to several reasons, including historical paucity in population genetic variation associated with postglacial colonisation and potential gene flow from a now extirpated Chinese population. The extent and distribution of genetic variation in captive and wild populations were similar, yet gene variants persisted ex situ that were lost in situ. Overall, their results indicate the need to secure ecological connectivity between the two Russian populations to minimize loss of genetic diversity and overall susceptibility to stochastic events, and support a previous study suggesting that the captive population may be a reservoir of gene variants lost in situ.JOURNAL, Henry, P., Miquelle, D., Sugimoto,T., McCullough, D. R., Caccone, A., Russello, M. A., In situ population structure and ex situ representation of the endangered Amur tiger, 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04266.x, 2009, Molecular Ecology, 18, 15, 3173–3184, 19555412, In 2013, the whole genome of the Siberian tiger was sequenced and published.JOURNAL, 10.1038/ncomms3433, 24045858, 3778509,weblink The tiger genome and comparative analysis with lion and snow leopard genomes, Nature Communications, 4, 2433, 2013, Cho, Y. S., Hu, L., Hou, H., Lee, H., Xu, J., Kwon, S., Oh, S., Kim, H. M., Jho, S., Kim, S., Shin, Y. A., Kim, B. C., Kim, H., Kim, C. U., Luo, S. J., Johnson, W. E., Koepfli, K. P., Schmidt-Küntzel, A., Turner, J. A., Marker, L., Harper, C., Miller, S. M., Jacobs, W., Bertola, L. D., Kim, T. H., Lee, S., Zhou, Q., Jung, H. J., Xu, X., Gadhvi, P., 30, 2013NatCo...4.2433C, Tigers in mainland Asia fall into two clades: the northern clade comprises the Siberian and Caspian tiger populations, and the southern clade all remaining continental tiger populations.A study published in 2018 was based on 32 tiger specimens using a whole-genome sequencing for analysis. Results support six monophyletic tiger clades and indicate that the most recent common ancestor lived about 110,000 years ago.JOURNAL, Liu, Y.-C., X., Sun, C., Driscoll, D. G., Miquelle, X., Xu, P., Martelli, O., Uphyrkina, J. L. D., Smith, S. J., O’Brien, S.-J., Luo, Genome-wide evolutionary analysis of natural history and adaptation in the world's tigers, Current Biology, 28, 23, 2018, 3840–3849, 10.1016/j.cub.2018.09.019, 30482605,

Characteristics

File:Amurtiger-Zoo-Muenster.jpg|thumb|Captive tiger at Münster ZooMünster ZooThe tiger is reddish-rusty, or rusty-yellow in colour, with narrow black transverse stripes. The body length is not less than {{convert|150|cm|in|-1|abbr=on}}, condylobasal length of skull {{convert|250|mm|in|0|abbr=on}}, zygomatic width {{convert|180|mm|in|0|abbr=on}}, and length of upper carnassial tooth over {{convert|26|mm|in|0|abbr=on}} long. It has an extended supple body standing on rather short legs with a fairly long tail.

Body size

Historical sources refer to large Siberian tigers. A wild male killed in Manchuria in the area of the Sungari River in 1943 reportedly measured {{convert|350|cm|in|abbr=on}} "over the curves", equivalent to {{convert|330|cm|in|abbr=on}} (wiktionary:peg#Noun|"between the pegs") with a tail length of about {{convert|1|m|in|abbr=on}}. It weighed about {{convert|300|kg|lb|abbr=on}}. Unconfirmed weights between {{convert|318|and|384|kg|lb|abbr=on}} and even {{convert|408|kg|lb|abbr=on}} have been stated in dubious sources.BOOK, Mazák, V., 1983, Der Tiger, Hohenwarsleben, Westarp Wissenschaften, Nachdruck der 3. Auflage, 2004, 978-3-89432-759-0, Vratislav Mazák, BOOK, Vaillant, J., 2010, The tiger: a true story of vengeance and survival, Toronto, Knopf, Borzoi Books,weblink 9780307593795, An unconfirmed account refers to a male tiger shot in the Sikhote-Alin Mountains in 1950 allegedly weighing {{convert|384|kg|lb|abbr=on}} with an estimated length of {{convert|3.48|m|ft|abbr=on}}. A captive Siberian tiger named "Jaipur" allegedly reached a body weight of up to {{convert|465|kg|lb|abbr=on}}.BOOK, Wood, G., The Guinness Book of Animal Facts and Feats, Guinness Superlatives, 1983, 978-0-85112-235-9,weblink In the 1980s, the typical weight range of wild Siberian tigers was indicated as {{convert|180|-|306|kg|lb|abbr=on}} for males and {{convert|100|-|167|kg|lb|abbr=on}} for females. Exceptionally large individuals were targeted and shot by hunters.BOOK, Fraser, A. F., 2012, Feline Behaviour and Welfare, CABI, 72–77, 978-1-84593-926-7, In 2005, a group of Russian, American and Indian zoologists published an analysis of historical and contemporary data on body weights of wild and captive tigers, both female and male across all subspecies. The data used include weights of tigers that were older than 35 months and measured in the presence of authors. Their comparison with historical data indicates that up to the first half of the 20th century both male and female Siberian tigers were on average heavier than post-1970 ones. The average historical wild male Siberian tiger weighed {{convert|215.3|kg|lb|abbr=on}} and the female {{convert|137.5|kg|lb|abbr=on}}; the contemporary wild male Siberian tiger weighs {{convert|176.4|kg|lb|abbr=on}} on average with an asymptotic limit being {{convert|222.3|kg|lb|abbr=on}}; a wild female weighs {{convert|117.9|kg|lb|abbr=on}} on average. Historical Siberian tigers and Bengal tigers were the largest ones, whereas contemporary Siberian tigers are on average lighter than Bengal tigers. The reduction of the body weight of today's Siberian tigers may be explained by concurrent causes, namely the reduced abundance of prey due to illegal hunting and that the individuals were usually sick or injured and captured in a conflict situation with people.BOOK, Slaght, J. C., Miquelle, D. G., Nikolaev, I. G., Goodrich, J. M., Smirnov, E. N., Traylor-Holzer, K., Christie, S., Arjanova, T., Smith, J. L. D., Karanth, K. U., 2005, Chapter 6. Who‘s king of the beasts? Historical and contemporary data on the body weight of wild and captive Amur tigers in comparison with other subspecies, Tigers in Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik: Ecology and Conservation, D. G. Miquelle, E. N. Smirnov, J.M. Goodrich, PSP, Vladivostok, Russia,weblink 25–35, ru, Measurements taken by scientists of the Siberian Tiger Project in the Sikhote-Alin range from {{convert|178|to|208|cm|in|abbr=on}} in head and body length measured in straight line, with an average of {{convert|195|cm|in|abbr=on}} for males; and for females ranging from {{convert|167|to|182|cm|in|abbr=on}} with an average of {{convert|174|cm|in|abbr=on}}. The average tail measures {{convert|99|cm|in|abbr=on}} in males and {{convert|91|cm|in|abbr=on}} in females. The longest male measured {{convert|309|cm|in|abbr=on}} in total length including a tail of {{convert|101|cm|in|abbr=on}} and with a chest girth of {{convert|127|cm|in|abbr=on}}. The longest female measured {{convert|270|cm|in|abbr=on}} in total length including tail of {{convert|88|cm|in|abbr=on}} and with a chest girth of {{convert|108|cm|in|abbr=on}}.BOOK, Kerley, L., Goodrich, J., Smirnov, E., Miquelle, D., Nikolaev, I, Arjanova, T., Slaght, J., Schleyer, B., Kuigli, H., Hornocker, M., 2005, Chapter 7. Morphological indicators of the Amur tiger,weblink 1–15, Tigers in Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik: Ecology and Conservation, Miquelle, D.G., Smirnov, E.N., Goodrich, J.M., PSP, Vladivostok, Russia, ru, A male captured by members of the Siberian Tiger Project weighed {{convert|206|kg|lb|abbr=on}}, and the largest radio-collared male weighed {{convert|212|kg|lb|abbr=on}}.WEB, WCS Russia, 2015, The Amur tiger: Ecology,weblink WEB, The Amur Tiger Programme, 2014,weblink Two long-term resident tigers in the Ussuri Nature Reserve, The Siberian tiger is often considered to be the largest tiger.BOOK, Nowell, K., Jackson, P., Wild Cats: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan,weblink 1996, IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland, 978-2-8317-0045-8, 55–64, Tiger, WEB, Bradford, A., Tigers: The Largest Cats in the World, LiveScience,weblink 2019, 2019-08-13,

Skull

The skull of the Siberian tiger is characterized by its large size, and is similar to that of a lion. It differs in the structural features of the lower jaw and relative length of nasals. The facial region is very powerful and very broad in the region of the canines. The skull prominences, especially sagittal crest and crista occipitalis are very high and strong in old males, and often much more massive than usually observed in the biggest skulls of Bengal tigers. The size variation in skulls of Siberian tigers ranges from {{convert|331|to|383|mm|in|abbr=on}} in nine individuals measured. A female skull is always smaller and never as heavily built and robust as that of a male. The height of the sagittal crest in its middle part reaches as much as {{convert|27|mm|in|abbr=on}}, and in its posterior part up to {{convert|46|mm|in|abbr=on}}.JOURNAL, Mazák, V., 1967, Notes on Siberian long-haired tiger, Panthera tigris altaica (Temminck, 1844), with a remark on Temminck's mammal volume of the Fauna Japonica, Mammalia, 31, 537–573, 10.1515/mamm.1967.31.4.537,weblink 4, Female skulls range from {{convert|279.7|to|310.2|mm|in|abbr=on}}. The skulls of male Caspian tigers from Turkestan had a maximum length of {{convert|297.0|to|365.8|mm|in|abbr=on}}, while that of females measured {{convert|195.7|to|255.5|mm|in|abbr=on}}. A tiger killed on the Sumbar River in Kopet-Dag in January 1954 had a greatest skull length of {{convert|385|mm|in|abbr=on}}, which is considerably more than the known maximum for this population and slightly exceeds that of most Siberian tigers. However, its condylobasal length was only {{convert|305|mm|in|abbr=on}}, smaller than those of the Siberian tigers, with a maximum recorded condylobasal length of {{convert|342|mm|in|abbr=on}}. The biggest skull of a Siberian tiger from northeast China measured {{convert|406|mm|in|abbr=on}} in length, which is about {{convert|20|-|30|mm|in|abbr=on}} more than the maximum skull lengths of tigers from the Amur region and northern India, with the exception of a skull of a northern Indian tiger from the vicinity of Nagina, which measured {{convert|16.25|in|mm|abbr=on}} "over the bone".BOOK, Hewett, J. P., Hewett Atkinson, L., Jungle trails in northern India: reminiscences of hunting in India, Metheun and Company Limited, London,weblink 1938, no,weblink 2017-01-18,

Fur and coat

File:Amur Tiger Panthera tigris altaica Cub Walking 1500px.jpg|thumb|Cub at Pittsburgh ZooPittsburgh ZooThe ground colour of Siberian tigers' pelage is often very pale, especially in winter coat. However, variations within populations may be considerable. Individual variation is also found in form, length, and partly in colour, of the dark stripes, which have been described as being dark brown rather than black.The fur of the Siberian tiger is moderately thick, coarse and sparse compared to that of other felids living in the former Soviet Union. Compared to the now-extinct westernmost populations, the Far Eastern Siberian tiger's summer and winter coats contrast sharply with other subspecies. Generally, the coat of western populations was brighter and more uniform than that of the Far Eastern populations. The summer coat is coarse, while the winter coat is denser, longer, softer, and silkier. The winter fur often appears quite shaggy on the trunk, and is markedly longer on the head, almost covering the ears. Apart from that, Siberian and Caspian tigers had the thickest fur amongst tigers, given their occurrence in the more temperate parts of Eurasia.The whiskers and hair on the back of the head and the top of the neck are also greatly elongated. The background colour of the winter coat is generally less bright and rusty compared to that of the summer coat. Due to the winter fur's greater length, the stripes appear broader with less defined outlines. The summer fur on the back is {{convert|15|-|17|mm|in|abbr=on}} long, {{convert|30|-|50|mm|in|abbr=on}} along the top of the neck, {{convert|25|-|35|mm|in|abbr=on}} on the abdomen, and {{convert|14|-|16|mm|in|abbr=on}} on the tail. The winter fur on the back is {{convert|40|-|50|mm|in|abbr=on}}, {{convert|70|-|110|mm|in|abbr=on}} on the top of the neck, {{convert|70|-|95|mm|in|abbr=on}} on the throat, {{convert|60|-|100|mm|in|abbr=on}} on the chest and {{convert|65|-|105|mm|in|abbr=on}} on the abdomen. The whiskers are {{convert|90|-|115|mm|in|abbr=on}}.

Distribution and habitat

{{multiple image |align=right |direction=vertical |image1=Вид на долину р. Бикин с видовой площадки (гора Клин).jpg |caption1=Sikhote-Alin in Primorsky Krai |image2=Тигр Заветный.jpg |caption2=A tiger in Bastak Nature Reserve}}The Siberian tiger once inhabited much of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria and other parts of north-eastern China, the eastern part of Siberia and the Russian Far East, perhaps as far west as Mongolia and the area of Lake Baikal, where the Caspian tiger also reportedly occurred. The geographical range of the tiger in the Russian Far East stretches south to north for almost {{convert|1000|km|mi|abbr=on}} the length of Primorsky Krai and into southern Khabarovsk Krai east and south of the Amur River. It also occurs within the Greater Xing'an Range, which crosses into Russia from China at several places in southwest Primorye. In both regions, peaks are generally {{convert|500|to|800|m|ft|abbr=on}} above sea level, with only a few reaching {{convert|1000|m|ft|abbr=on}} or more. This region represents a merger zone of two bioregions: the East Asian coniferous-deciduous complex and the Taiga, resulting in a mosaic of forest types that vary with elevation, topography, and history. Key habitats of the Siberian tiger are Korean pine broadleaf forests with a complex composition and structure.BOOK, Miquelle, D. G., Smirnov, E. N., Merrill, T. W., Myslenkov, A. E., Quigley, H., Hornocker, M. G., Schleyer, B., 1999, Hierarchical spatial analysis of Amur tiger relationships to habitat and prey, Riding the Tiger. Tiger Conservation in Human-dominated Landscapes, Seidensticker, J., Christie, S., Jackson, P., Cambridge University Press, UK,weblink 71–99, The faunal complex of the region is represented by a mixture of Asian and boreal life forms. The ungulate complex is represented by seven species, with Manchurian wapiti, Siberian roe deer, and wild boar being the most common throughout the Sikhote-Alin mountains but rare in higher altitude spruce-fir forests. Sika deer are restricted to the southern half of the Sikhote-Alin mountains. Siberian musk deer and Amur moose are associated with the conifer forests and are near the southern limits of their distribution in the central Sikhote-Alin mountains.JOURNAL, Carroll, C. and D. Miquelle, 2006,weblink Spatial viability analysis of Amur tiger Panthera tigris altaica in the Russian Far East: the role of protected areas and landscape matrix in population persistence, Journal of Applied Ecology, 43, 6, 1056–1068, 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2006.01237.x, yes, 2013-01-24,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130124011713weblink">weblink In 2005, the number of Amur tigers in China was estimated at 18–22, and 331–393 in the Russian Far East, comprising a breeding adult population of about 250, fewer than 100 likely to be sub-adults, more than 20 likely to be less than 3 years of age. More than 90% of the population occurred in the Sikhote Alin mountain region. An unknown number of tigers survive in the reserve areas around Baekdu Mountain, on the border between China and North Korea, based on tracks and sightings.In August 2012, a Siberian tiger with four cubs was recorded for the first time in northeastern China's Hunchun National Nature Reserve located in the vicinity of the international borders with Russia and North Korea.JOURNAL, Camera traps reveal Amur tiger breeding in NE China, Wang, T.M., Yang, H.T., Xiao, W.H., Feng, L.M., Mou, P. and Ge, J.P., Cat News, 2014, 61, 18−19, JOURNAL, Amur tigers and leopards returning to China: direct evidence and a landscape conservation plan, Wang, T., Feng, L., Mou, P., Wu, J., Smith, J. L., Xiao, W., Yang, H., Dou, H., Zhao, X., Cheng, Y., Zhou, B., Landscape Ecology, 2016, 31, 3, 491−503, 10.1007/s10980-015-0278-1, Camera-trap surveys carried out in the spring seasons of 2013 and 2014 revealed between 27 and 34 tigers along the China-Russian border.In April 2014, World Wide Fund for Nature personnel captured a video of a tigress with cubs in inland China.Vaughan, A. (2014). Siberian tiger video suggests species is returning to China, conservationists say. Guardian News and Media Limited.

Ecology and behavior

(File:Tigress Anna Savelevna 01.jpg|thumb|A Siberian tiger photographed by a camera trap)Siberian tigers are known to travel up to {{convert|1000|km|mi|abbr=on}}, a distance that marks the exchange limit over ecologically unbroken country.In 1992 and 1993, the maximum total population density of the Sikhote-Alin tiger population was estimated at 0.62 tigers in {{convert|100|km2|sqmi|abbr=on}}. The maximum adult population estimated in 1993 reached 0.3 tigers in {{convert|100|km2|sqmi|abbr=on}}, with a sex ratio of averaging 2.4 females per male. These density values were much lower than what had been reported for other subspecies at the time.BOOK, Smirnov, E. N., Miquelle, D. G., 1999, Population dynamics of the Amur tiger in Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik, Russia, 61–70, Riding the Tiger. Tiger Conservation in Human-dominated Landscapes, Seidensticker, J., Christie, S., Jackson, P., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,weblink {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20120406225412weblink |date=2012-04-06}}In 2004, dramatic changes in land tenure, density, and reproductive output in the core area of the Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik Siberian Tiger Project were detected, suggesting that when tigers are well protected from human-induced mortality for long periods, the density of female adults may increase dramatically. When more adult females survived, the mothers shared their territories with their daughters once the daughters reached maturity. By 2007, density of tigers was estimated at 0.8±0.4 tigers in {{convert|100|km2|sqmi|abbr=on}} in the southern part of Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik, and 0.6±0.3 tigers in {{convert|100|km2|sqmi|abbr=on}} in the central part of the protected area.BOOK, Miquelle, D., Goodrich, J., Seryodkin, I., 2008, Siberian Tiger Project: Long-Term Research, Training, and Tiger-Human Conflict Mitigation in the Russian Far East. Final Report to 21st Century Tiger, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, Siberian tigers share habitat with Amur leopards, but in the Changbai Mountains have been recorded more often in lower altitudes than leopards.JOURNAL, Yang, H., Zhao, X., Han, B., Wang, T., Mou, P., Ge, J., Feng, L., 2018, Spatiotemporal patterns of Amur leopards in northeast China: Influence of tigers, prey, and humans, Mammalian Biology, 92, 120–128, 10.1016/j.mambio.2018.03.009,

Reproduction and life cycle

File:Panthera tigris altaica 13 - Buffalo Zoo.jpg|thumb|A tigress with a cub at Buffalo ZooBuffalo ZooSiberian tigers mate at any time of the year. A female signals her receptiveness by leaving urine deposits and scratch marks on trees. She will spend 5 or 6 days with the male, during which she is receptive for three days. Gestation lasts from 3 to 3½ months. Litter size is normally two or four cubs but there can be as many as six. The cubs are born blind in a sheltered (wikt:lair|den) and are left alone when the female leaves to hunt for food. Cubs are divided equally between sexes at birth. However, by adulthood there are usually two to four females for every male. The female cubs remain with their mothers longer, and later they establish territories close to their original ranges. Males, on the other hand, travel unaccompanied and range farther earlier in their lives, making them more vulnerable to poachers and other tigers.BOOK, Matthiessen, P., Hornocker, M., 2001, Tigers In The Snow, North Point Press, 978-0-86547-596-0, However, Wildlife Conservation Society camera trapped an adult male and female Siberian tiger with three cubs.Ayre, James (March 15, 2015) Siberian Tiger Family Caught On Film — Adult Female, Adult Male, & Three Cubs. planetsave.comAt 35 months of age, tigers are subadults. Males reach sexual maturity at the age of 48 to 60 months.BOOK, Sunquist, M., 2002, Wild Cats of the World, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, BOOK, Karanth, U., 2001, The Way of the Tiger : natural history and conservation of the endangered big cat, Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN, The average lifespan for Siberian tigers ranges from 16–18 years. Wild individuals tend to live between 10–15 years, while in captivity individuals may live up to 25 years.WEB,weblink About the Siberian tiger - Russian Geographical Society, Rgo.ru, 5 January 2018, WEB,weblink Amur Tiger Factfile -Panthera tigris altaica - ALTA Conservation, Altaconservation.org, 5 January 2018,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20180109113235weblink">weblink 2018-01-09, yes,

Feeding ecology

File:Diorama - Museo civico di storia naturale (Milan) - cropped and adjusted.jpg|thumb|A diorama from the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano showing a sika deersika deerPrey species of the tiger include Manchurian wapiti, Siberian musk deer, long-tailed goral, moose, Siberian roe deer, Manchurian sika deer, wild boar, even sometimes small size Asian black bear and Ussuri brown bear. Siberian tigers also take smaller species like hares, rabbits, pikas and salmon as food.BOOK, Amur tiger, Prynn, D., Russian Nature Press, 2004, 115, Between January 1992 and November 1994, 11 tigers were captured, fitted with radio-collars and monitored for more than 15 months in the eastern slopes of the Sikhote-Alin mountain range. Results of this study indicate that their distribution is closely associated with distribution of wapiti, while distribution of wild boar was not such a strong predictor for tiger distribution. Although they prey on both Siberian roe deer and sika deer, overlap of these ungulates with tigers was low. Distribution of moose was poorly associated with tiger distribution. The distribution of preferred habitat of key prey species was an accurate predictor of tiger distribution.Results of a three-year study on Siberian tigers indicate that the mean interval between their kills and estimated prey consumption varied across seasons: during 2009 to 2012, three adult tigers killed prey every 7.4 days in summer and consumed a daily average of {{convert|7.89|kg|lb|abbr=on}}; in winter they killed more large-bodied prey, made kills every 5.7 days and consumed a daily average of {{convert|10.3|kg|lb|abbr=on}}.JOURNAL, Miller, C. S., Hebblewhite, M., Petrunenko, Y. K., Seryodkin, I. V., DeCesare, N. J., Goodrich, J. M., Miquelle, D. G., 2013, Estimating Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) kill rates and potential consumption rates using global positioning system collars,weblink Journal of Mammalogy, 94, 4, 845–855, 10.1644/12-mamm-a-209.1, When all sizes of prey are abundant, Siberian tigers prefer to target smaller prey.

Interspecific predatory relationships

File:Tiger and bear, Arsenev Regional History Museum (Vladivostok, 2004).jpg|thumb|Taxidermy exhibit portraying a tiger fighting a brown bearbrown bearFollowing a decrease of ungulate populations from 1944 to 1959, more than 32 cases {{quantify|date=May 2017}} of Amur tigers attacking both brown and Asian black bears were recorded in the Russian Far East, and hair of bears were found in several tiger scat samples. Tigers attack Asian black bears less often than brown bears, as latter live in more open habitat and are not able to climb trees. In the same time period, four cases of brown bears killing female and young tigers were reported, both in disputes over prey and in self-defense. Tigers can tackle bears larger than themselves, using an ambushing tactic and jumping onto the bear from an overhead position, grabbing it by the chin with one fore paw and by the throat with the other, and then killing it with a bite in the spinal column. Tigers mainly feed on the bear's fat deposits, such as the back, hams, and groin.Amur tigers regularly prey on young bears and sub-adult brown bears. Reports of preying on fully grown small female adult Ussuri brown bears by a big male tiger are common as well. Predation by tigers on denned brown bears was not detected during a study carried between 1993 and 2002.JOURNAL, Seryodkin, I. V., Kostyria, A. V., Goodrich, J. M., Miquelle, D. G., Smirnov, E. N., Kerley, L. L., Hornocker, M. G., yes,weblink 2003, Denning ecology of brown bears and Asiatic black bears in the Russian Far East, Ursus, 14, 2, 159, Ussuri brown bears, along with the smaller Asian black bears constitute 2.1% of the Siberian tiger's annual diet, of which 1.4% are brown bears.BOOK, Seryodkin, I. V., Goodrich, J. M., Kostyrya, A. V., Schleyer, B. O., Smirnov, E. N., Kerley, L. L., Miquelle, D. G., yes, 2005, Глава 19. Взаимоотношения амурского тигра с бурым и гималайским медведями [Chapter 19. Relationship of Amur tigers with brown and Himalayan black bear], Miquelle, D. G., Smirnov, E. N., Goodrich, J. M., Tigers of Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik: Ecology and Conservation, Vladivostok, Russia, PSP, 156–163, Russian,weblink WEB,weblink The ecology, behavior, management and conservation status of brown bears in Sikhote-Alin, Russian, Seryodkin, I., 2006, Far Eastern National University, Vladivostok, Russia, 1–252, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131224090426weblink">weblink 2013-12-24, Certain tigers have been reported to imitate the calls of Asian black bears to attract them.BOOK, Brown, G., Great Bear Almanac, 1996, 340, 978-1-55821-474-3,weblink The Lyons Press, The effect the presence of tigers has on brown bear behavior seems to vary. In the winters of 1970–1973, Yudakov and Nikolaev recorded two cases of bears showing no fear of tigers and another case of a brown bear changing path upon crossing tiger tracks.BOOK, The Ecology of the Amur Tiger based on Long-Term Winter Observations in 1970–1973 in the Western Sector of the Central Sikhote-Alin Mountains, Hunting Behavior and Success of the Tigers' Hunts, Yudakov, A. G., Nikolaev, I. G., Institute of Biology and Soil Science, Far-Eastern Scientific Center, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, 2004,weblink Other researchers have observed bears following tiger tracks to scavenge tiger kills and to potentially prey on tigers. Despite the threat of predation, some brown bears actually benefit from the presence of tigers by appropriating tiger kills that the bears may not be able to successfully hunt themselves. Brown bears generally prefer to contest the much smaller female tigers.BOOK, Tigers in the Snow, One, Matthiessen, P., North Point Press, New York, 2000,weblink During telemetry research in the Sikhote-Alin protected area, 44 direct confrontations between bears and tigers were observed, in which bears in general were killed in 22 cases, and tigers in 12 cases.BOOK, 20th International Conference on Bear Research & Management, Intraspecific relationships between brown bears, Asiatic black bears and the Amur tiger, Seryodkin, I. V., Goodrich, J. M., Kostyria, A. V., Smirnov, E. N., Miquelle, D. G., International Association for Bear Research and Management, 2011, 64,weblink There are reports of brown bears specifically targeting Amur leopards and tigers to abstract their prey. In the Sikhote-Alin reserve, 35% of tiger kills were stolen by bears, with tigers either departing entirely or leaving part of the kill for the bear.BOOK, Биоразнообразие и роль животных в экосистемах: Материалы IV Международной научной конференции, Denpropetrovsk, Роль бурого медведя в экосистемах Дальнего Востока России,weblink 502–503, 2007, Seryodkin, I. V., Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, Some studies show that bears frequently track down tigers to usurp their kills, with occasional fatal outcomes for the tiger. A report from 1973 describes twelve known cases of brown bears killing tigers, including adult males; in all cases the tigers were subsequently eaten by the bears.JOURNAL, Brown Bear predation of Amur Tiger 1973 account, International Wildlife Magazine,weblink JOURNAL, Goodrich, J. M., Kerley, L. L., Smirnov, E. N., Miquelle, D. G., McDonald, L., Quigley, H. B., Hornocker, M. G., McDonald, T., Survival rates and causes of mortality of Amur tigers on and near the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Zapovednik, Journal of Zoology, 276, 4, 323, 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2008.00458.x, 2008, The relationship between the Amur tiger and the brown and Himalayan bear is not specifically studied. Numerous publications on these species there are mainly episodic and survey data on this issue are collected by different authors in selected areas which do not give a complete picture of the nature.Tigers depress wolves' numbers, either to the point of localized extinction or to such low numbers as to make them a functionally insignificant component of the ecosystem. Wolves appear capable of escaping competitive exclusion from tigers only when human pressure decreases tiger numbers. In areas where wolves and tigers share ranges, the two species typically display a great deal of dietary overlap, resulting in intense competition. Wolf and tiger interactions are well documented in Sikhote-Alin, where until the beginning of the 20th century, very few wolves were sighted. Wolf numbers may have increased in the region after tigers were largely eliminated during the Russian colonisation in the late 19th century and early 20th century. This is corroborated by native inhabitants of the region claiming that they had no memory of wolves inhabiting Sikhote-Alin until the 1930s, when tiger numbers decreased. Today, wolves are considered scarce in tiger habitat, being found in scattered pockets, and usually seen travelling as loners or in small groups. First hand accounts on interactions between the two species indicate that tigers occasionally chase wolves from their kills, while wolves will scavenge from tiger kills. Tigers are not known to prey on wolves, though there are four records of tigers killing wolves without consuming them.Miquelle, D. G., Stephens, P. A., Smirnov, E. N., Goodrich, J. M., Zaumyslova, O. J. and Myslenkov, A. E. (2005). Tigers and Wolves in the Russian Far East: Competitive Exclusion, Functional Redundancy, and Conservation Implications. In: Ray, J. C., Redford, K. H., Steneck, R. S., Berger, J. (eds.) Large Carnivores and the Conservation of Biodiversity. Island Press, Washington, DC. pp. 179–207. Tigers recently released are also said to hunt wolves.WEB,weblink 'Putin's Tigers' are Thriving in the Wild, Vorontsova, M., 2015, ecology.com, June 7, 2015, This competitive exclusion of wolves by tigers has been used by Russian conservationists to convince hunters in the Far East to tolerate the big cats, as they limit ungulate populations less than wolves, and are effective in controlling wolf numbers.Fulbright, T. E., Hewitt, D. G. (2007). Wildlife Science: Linking Ecological Theory and Management Applications. CRC Press {{ISBN|0-8493-7487-1}}Siberian tigers also compete with the Eurasian lynx and may occasionally kill and eat them. Eurasian lynx remains have been found in the stomach contents of Siberian tigers in Russia. In March, 2014, a dead lynx was discovered in Bastak Nature Reserve by park workers of the Wildlife Conservation Society that bore evidence of predation by a Siberian tiger. The lynx had apparently been ambushed, pursued, and killed by the tiger but only partially consumed, which indicates that the tiger might have been more intent on eliminating a competitor than on catching prey. This incident marks one of the first documented cases of predation of a lynx by a tiger.NEWS,weblink Agata Blaszczak-Boxe, Battle of the big cats sees tiger hunt and devour a lynx, 2016,

Threats

Results of genetic analysis of 95 wild Siberian tiger samples from Russia revealed that genetic diversity is low, only 27–35 individuals contributed to their genes. Further exacerbating the problem is that more than 90% of the population occurred in the Sikhote Alin mountain region. Tigers rarely move across the development corridor, which separates this sub-population from the much smaller sub-population in southwest Primorye province.The winter of 2006–2007 was marked by heavy poaching. Poaching of tigers and their wild prey species is considered to be driving the decline, although heavy snows in the winter of 2009 could have biased the data. In northern China’s Huang Ni He National Nature Reserve, poachers set up foremost snare traps, but there is not sufficient personnel to patrol this {{convert|75|km2|sqmi|abbr=on}} large area throughout the year.BOOK, Gurumurthy, S., Yu, L., Zhang, C., Jin, Y., Li, W., Zhang, X. and Fang, F., 2018, Exploiting Data and Human Knowledge for Predicting Wildlife Poaching, Compass '18. Proceedings of the 1st ACM SIGCAS Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies, Association for Computing Machinery, Menlo Park and San Jose, 1–8, 10.1145/3209811.3209879, 9781450358163, 1805.05356, In Hunchun National Nature Reserve, poaching of ungulate species impedes recovery of the tiger population.JOURNAL, Xiao, W., Hebblewhite, M., Robinson, H., Feng, L., Zhou, B., Mou, P., Wang, T. and Ge, J., 2018, Relationships between humans and ungulate prey shape Amur tiger occurrence in a core protected area along the Sino‐Russian border, Ecology and Evolution, 1, 4, 529–545, 10.1002/ece3.46, 22393520, 3287338,

In the past

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, illegal deforestation and bribery of park rangers facilitated poaching of Siberian tigers. Local hunters had access to a formerly sealed off lucrative Chinese market, and this once again put the region's tiger population at risk of extinction. While improvement in the local economy has led to greater resources being invested in conservation efforts, an increase in economic activity has led to an increased rate of development and deforestation. The major obstacle in preserving the tiger is the enormous territory individual tigers require; up to {{convert|450|km|abbr=on}} is needed by a single female and more for a single male.JOURNAL, Goodrich, J. M., Miquelle, D. G., Smirnov, E. M., Kerley, L. L., Quigley, H. B., Hornocker, M. G., 2010, Spatial structure of Amur (Siberian) tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) on Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Zapovednik, Russia,weblink Journal of Mammalogy, 91, 3, 737–748, 10.1644/09-mamm-a-293.1, The Siberian tiger was once common in the Korean Peninsula. It was eradicated during the period of Korea under Japanese rule between 1910 and 1945.JOURNAL, Jo, Y. S., Baccus, J. T., 2016, Are large cats compatible with modern society on the Korean Peninsula?, Ecological Restoration, 34, 3, 173–183, 10.3368/er.34.3.173,

Conservation

{{multiple image |align=right |direction=vertical
|image1=MSU V2P2 - Hunters with tigers.png |caption1=Tiger cubs caught alive by Russian hunters in Primorye, 1952/53 |width1= |image2=Rehabilitation and Reintroduction Centre for tigers.jpeg |caption2=A tiger at the Rehabilitation and Reintroduction Center for Amur (Siberian) Tigers in the village of Alekseevka, Primorsky Krai, Russia |width2=
|image3=Tiger Release in Far East Russia.webm |caption3=Three orphaned Siberian tigers rescued after their mothers were killed by poachers are released back to the wild in Russia |width3=
}}Tigers are included on CITES Appendix I, banning international trade. All tiger range states and countries with consumer markets have banned domestic trade as well.Nowell, K. (2007) Asian big cat conservation and trade control in selected range States: evaluating implementation and effectiveness of CITES Recommendations . TRAFFIC International, Cambridge, UK. At the 14th Conference of the Parties to CITES in 2007, stronger enforcement measures were called for, as well as an end to tiger farming.Nowell, K., Bauer, H., Breitenmoser, U. (2007) Cats at CITES COP14. Cat News 47: 33–34.In 1992, the Siberian Tiger Project was founded, with the aim of providing a comprehensive picture of the ecology of the Amur tiger and the role of tigers in the Russian Far East through scientific studies. By capturing and outfitting tigers with radio collars, their social structure, land use patterns, food habits, reproduction, mortality patterns and their relation with other inhabitants of the ecosystem, including humans is studied. These data compilations will hopefully contribute toward minimizing poaching threats due to traditional hunting. The Siberian Tiger Project has been productive in increasing local capacity to address human-tiger conflict with a Tiger Response Team, part of the Russian government's Inspection Tiger, which responds to all tiger-human conflicts; by continuing to enhance the large database on tiger ecology and conservation with the goal of creating a comprehensive Siberian tiger conservation plan; and training the next generation of Russian conservation biologists.Miquelle, D., Goodrich, J., Seryodkin, I. (2008) Siberian Tiger Project: Long-Term Research, Training, and Tiger-Human Conflict Mitigation in the Russian Far East {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20120425124044weblink |date=2012-04-25 }}. Wildlife Conservation SocietyIn August 2010, China and Russia agreed to enhance conservation and cooperation in protected areas in a transboundary area for Amur tigers. China has undertaken a series of public awareness campaigns including celebrationof the first Global Tiger Day in July 2010, and International Forum on Tiger Conservation and Tiger Culture and China 2010 Hunchun Amur Tiger Culture Festival in August 2010.Global Tiger Initiative. (2011). Global Tiger Recovery Program 2010–2022 {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20110826004608weblink |date=2011-08-26 }}. Global Tiger Initiative Secretariat, Washington.In December 2010, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS Russia) and Phoenix Fund initiated a project in co-operation with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to improve the protection of tigers and prey species in four key-protected areas, namely Lavovsky Nature Reserve, Sikhote Alin Nature Reserve, Zov Tigra National Park and Kedrovaya Pad - Leopardovii Protected Area. The project consists of the following components.
  1. monitoring patrol routes and law enforcement results with the patrol monitoring system MIST which is based on GIS-technique
  2. support for patrol teams (fuel, spare parts, maintenance for vehicles and ranger outfits)
  3. bonuses for patrol teams that perform well
The first project results indicate a success. Patrol efforts (measured by total time spent on patrols and distance of foot patrols) in the two protected areas where the project started first (Kedrovaya Pad - Leopardovii and Lazovsky protected areas) have increased substantially. This was established by comparing the patrol data of the 1st quarter of 2011 with the 1st quarter of 2012. Patrol law enforcement results (confiscated fire arms, citations for poaching and other violations as well as fines) have also increased markedly (this was established by comparing the results of the two protected areas in 2011 to previous years).{{citation needed|date=May 2012}}

Reintroduction ideas

{{further|Reintroduction|Species translocation|Siberian Tiger Introduction Project}}Inspired by findings that the Amur tiger is the closest relative of the Caspian tiger, there has been discussion whether the Amur tiger could be an appropriate subspecies for reintroduction into a safe place in Central Asia. The Amu-Darya Delta was suggested as a potential site for such a project. A feasibility study was initiated to investigate if the area is suitable and if such an initiative would receive support from relevant decision makers. A viable tiger population of about 100 animals would require at least 5000 km2 (1930 sq mi) of large tracts of contiguous habitat with rich prey populations. Such habitat is not presently available in the Delta, and so cannot be provided in the short term. The proposed region is therefore unsuitable for the reintroduction, at least at this stage of development.Jungius, H., Chikin, Y., Tsaruk, O., Pereladova, O. (2009). Pre-Feasibility Study on the Possible Restoration of the Caspian Tiger in the Amu Darya Delta {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20161022065143weblink |date=2016-10-22 }}. WWF Russia(File:Tiger distribution3.PNG|thumb|Historical and current distribution)A second possible introduction site in Kazakhstan is the Ili River delta at the southern edge of Lake Balkhash. The delta is situated between the Saryesik-Atyrau Desert and the Taukum Desert and forms a large wetland of about 8000 square kilometres. Until 1948, the delta was a refuge of the extinct Caspian tiger. Reintroduction of the Siberian tiger to the delta has been proposed. Large populations of wild boar, which were a main prey base of the Turanian tiger, can be still found in the swamps of the delta. The reintroduction of the Bukhara deer, which was once an important prey item is under consideration. The Ili delta is therefore considered as a suitable site for introduction.Jungius, H. (2010). Feasibility Study on the Possible Restoration of the Caspian Tiger in Central Asia {{Webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160304045127weblink |date=2016-03-04 }}. WWF RussiaIn 2010, Russia exchanged two captive Amur tigers for Persian leopards with the Iranian government, as conservation groups of both countries agreed on reintroducing these animals into the wild within the next five years. This issue is controversial since only 30% of such releases have been successful. In addition, as mentioned by Bahram Kiabi, a Professor of Ecology at Shahid Beheshti University, the Siberian tiger is not genetically identical to the Caspian tiger of Persia, but similar. Another difference between the Siberian and Persian tigers is climatic, with the latter's country having higher temperatures than that of its Siberian relative, and environmental expert Kambiz Bahram Soltani warned that introducing exotic species into a new habitat could inflict irreversible and unknown damage.WEB, Khosravifard, S.,weblink Russia, Iran exchange tigers for leopards but some experts express doubts, Payvand News, 22 May 2010, 6 August 2011, In December 2010, one of the tigers exchanged died in Eram Zoo in Tehran.WEB,weblink Iran, world, political, sport, economic news and headlines, MehrNews.com, 6 August 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110714070701weblink">weblink 2011-07-14, yes, Nevertheless, the project has its defenders, and Iran has had successful reintroductions of the Persian wild ass and East Azerbaijan red deer.Future re-introduction is planned as part of the rewilding project at Pleistocene Park in the Kolyma River basin in northern Yakutia, Russia, provided the herbivore population has reached a size warranting the introduction of large predators.WEB, Mammoth Steppes and Future Climate, Zimov, Sergei,weblink 2007, Science in Russia, 5 May 2013, JOURNAL, Pleistocene Park: Return of the Mammoth's Ecosystem, 308, 5723, 796–8, Zimov, S. A., 2005, Science (journal), Science, 10.1126/science.1113442, 15879196, WEB, Russian Scientist Working To Recreate Ice Age Ecosystem, Max, A.,weblink 2010, The Huffington Post, 7 May 2013,

In captivity

File:Amersfoort Zoo Siberian Tigers.jpg|thumb|A tigress with cub in captivity in Amersfoort, the NetherlandsNetherlandsThe large, distinctive and powerful cats are popular zoo exhibits. The Siberian tiger is bred under the auspices of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), in a project based on 83 tigers captured in the wild. According to most experts, this population is large enough to stay stable and genetically healthy. Today, approximately 160 Siberian tigers participate in the SSP, which makes it the most extensively bred tiger subspecies within the program. Developed in 1982, the Species Survival Plan for the Siberian tiger is the longest running program for a tiger subspecies. It has been very fortunate and productive, and the breeding program for the Siberian tiger has actually been used as a good example when new programs have been designed to save other animal species from extinction.{{Citation needed|date=October 2011}}File:Lincoln Park 13.JPG|thumb|left|Tiger at Lincoln Park ZooLincoln Park ZooThe Siberian tiger population in the framework of the European Endangered Species Programme numbers about 230 individuals, including wild-caught founders.{{Citation needed|date=October 2011}}In recent years, captive breeding of tigers in China has accelerated to the point where the captive population of several tiger subspecies exceeds 4,000 animals. Three thousand specimens are reportedly held by 10–20 "significant" facilities, with the remainder scattered among some 200 facilities. This makes China home to the second largest captive tiger population in the world, after the US, which in 2005 had an estimated 4,692 captive tigers.Nowell, K., Ling, X. (2007) Taming the tiger trade: China's markets for wild and captive tiger products since the 1993 domestic trade ban. TRAFFIC East Asia, Hong Kong, China. In a census conducted by the US based Feline Conservation Federation, 2,884 tigers were documented as residing in 468 American facilities.Wildlife Watch Group (2011) Less than 3,000 Pet Tigers in America . Wildlife Times 5 (37): 12–13.(File:Zwei_Amurtiger_Zoo_Landau.JPG|thumb|A couple)In 1986, the Chinese government established the world's largest Siberian tiger breeding base, that is Heilongjiang Northeast Tiger Forest Park ({{zh|黑龙江 东北 虎 林 园}}),A Siberian tiger appears in Heilongjiang China {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20101218121137weblink |date=2010-12-18 }} 22 June 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2010. and was meant to build a Siberian tiger gene pool to ensure the genetic diversity of these tigers. Liu Dan, Chief Engineer of the Heilongjiang Northeast Tiger Forest Park, introduced a measure such that the Park and its existing tiger population would be further divided into two parts, one as the protective species for genetic management and the other as the ornamental species. It was discovered that when the Heilongjiang Northeast Tiger Forest Park was founded it had only 8 tigers, but according to the current breeding rate of tigers at the park, the worldwide number of wild Siberian tigers will break through 1,000 in late 2010.WEB, SINA Corporation,weblink zh:黑龙江东北虎林园将打造千虎园, zh, South Korea expected to receive three tigers pledged for donation in 2009 by Russia in 2011.People's Daily, 21 April 2011. "S Korea to Welcome Three Siberian Tigers from Russia."Reuters, 22 April 2011. "Russia to donate three rare Siberian tigers to South Korea." South Korea may be able to rebuild a home for tigers.RelivEarth, 22 April 2011. "Korea to Rebuild Home for Amur Tiger." {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20110827193009weblink |date=2011-08-27 }}

Attacks on humans

{{See also|Tiger attack}}(File:Siberian Tiger Sign.JPG|thumb|A sign warning people about the tiger. It says Caution! Tigers nearby! ().)The Siberian tiger very rarely becomes a man-eater. Numerous cases of attacks on humans were recorded in the 19th century, occurring usually in central Asia excluding Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and the Far East. Tigers were historically rarely considered dangerous unless provoked, though in the lower reaches of the Syr-Darya, a tiger reportedly killed a woman collecting firewood and an unarmed military officer in the June period whilst passing through reed thickets. Attacks on shepherds were recorded in the lower reaches of Ili. In the Far East, during the middle and third quarter of the 19th century, attacks on people were recorded. In 1867 on the Tsymukha River, tigers killed 21 men and injured 6 others. In China's Jilin Province, tigers reportedly attacked woodsmen and coachmen, and occasionally entered cabins and dragged out both adults and children.According to the Japanese Police Bureau in Korea, a tiger killed only one human, whereas leopards killed three, wild boars four and wolves 48 in 1928.WEB, Neff, R., 2007,weblink Devils in the Darkness: The Korean Gray Wolf was a terror for miners, English.ohmynews.com, 23 May 2007, 6 August 2011, Only six cases were recorded in 20th century Russia of unprovoked attacks leading to man-eating behaviour. Provoked attacks are however more common, usually the result of botched attempts at capturing them.In December 1997, an injured Amur tiger attacked, killed and consumed two people. Both attacks occurred in the Bikin River valley. The anti-poaching task force Inspection Tiger investigated both deaths, tracked down and killed the tiger.Vaillant, J. (2010) The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival. Knopf Canada, Toronto {{ISBN|0-307-26893-4}}In January 2002, a man was attacked by a tiger on a remote mountain road near Hunchun in Jilin Province, China, near the borders of Russia and North Korea. He suffered compound fractures but managed to survive. When he sought medical attention, his story raised suspicions as Siberian tigers seldom attack humans. An investigation of the attack scene revealed that raw venison carried by the man was left untouched by the tiger. Officials suspected the man to be a poacher who provoked the attack.WEB,weblink 走遍中国2009年06月19日A:寻踪东北虎系列之人虎情仇(上), YouTube, 18 June 2009, 6 August 2011, The following morning, tiger sightings were reported by locals along the same road, and a local TV station did an on-site coverage. The group found tiger tracks and blood spoor in the snow at the attack scene and followed them for approximately 2,500 meters, hoping to catch a glimpse of the animal. Soon, the tiger was seen ambling slowly ahead of them. As the team tried to get closer for a better camera view, the tiger suddenly turned and charged, causing the four to flee in panic.WEB,weblink 走遍中国2009年06月19日C:寻踪东北虎系列之人虎情仇(上), YouTube, 18 June 2009, 6 August 2011, About an hour after that encounter, the tiger attacked and killed a 26-year-old woman on the same road.WEB,weblink 吉林"东北虎吃人"迷雾重重:老虎胃里是空的, News.sina.com.cn, 13 February 2002, 6 August 2011, Authorities retrieved the body with the help of a bulldozer. By then, the tiger was found lying 20 meters away, weak and barely alive.WEB,weblink 走遍中国2009年06月20日A:寻踪东北虎系列之人虎情仇(下), YouTube, 20 June 2009, 6 August 2011, It was successfully tranquilized and taken for examination, which revealed that the tiger was anemic and gravely injured by a poacher's snare around its neck, with the steel wire cutting deeply down to the vertebrae, severing both trachea and esophagus. Despite extensive surgery by a team of veterinarians, the tiger died of wound infection.WEB,weblink 先后动了两次手术 我国首次抢救重伤野生东北虎纪实, News.sina.com.cn, 6 August 2011, WEB,weblink 走遍中国2009年06月20日B:寻踪东北虎系列之人虎情仇(下), YouTube, 20 June 2009, 6 August 2011, Subsequent investigation of the first attack revealed that the first victim was a poacher who set multiple snares that caught both the tiger and a deer.WEB,weblink 吉林两男子欲捕东北虎 其中一人反被虎咬伤, News.sina.com.cn, 6 August 2011, The man was later charged for poaching and harming endangered species. He served two years in prison.WEB,weblink 走遍中国2009年06月20日C:寻踪东北虎系列之人虎情仇(下), YouTube, 20 June 2009, 6 August 2011, After being released from prison, he worked in clearing the forest of old snares.WEB,weblink From hunter to protector, Chinadaily.com.cn, 6 August 2011, In an incident at the San Francisco Zoo in December 2007, a tiger escaped and killed a visitor, and injured two others. The animal was shot by the police. The zoo was widely criticized for maintaining only a {{convert|12.5|ft|m|abbr=on}} fence around the tiger enclosure, while the international standard is {{convert|16|ft|m|abbr=on}}. The zoo subsequently erected a taller barrier topped by an electric fence. One of the victims admitted to taunting the animal.WEB,weblink Tiger attack victim admits taunting, police say, The Associated Press, 17 January 2008, Zookeepers in Anhui province and the cities of Shanghai and Shenzhen were attacked and killed in 2010.Siberian tiger kills zookeeper, TRHK News, 16 August 2010In January 2011, a tiger attacked and killed a tour bus driver at a breeding park in Heilongjiang province. Park officials reported that the bus driver violated safety guidelines by leaving the vehicle to check on the condition of the bus.Shahid, A. (2011) "Siberian tiger attacks, kills bus driver in China." Associated Press, 5 January 2011.In September 2013, a tiger mauled a zookeeper to death at a zoo in western Germany after the worker forgot to lock a cage door during feeding time."Tiger kills zookeeper during feeding time" The Local, 20 September 2013.

In culture

{{multiple image |align=right |direction=vertical |image1=Tiger Family.jpg |caption1=A tiger family depicted in a Korean scroll from the late 18th century |image2=Coat of arms of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast.svg |caption2=The tiger in the heraldic arms of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast in Russia}}The Tungusic people considered the tiger a near-deity and often referred to it as "Grandfather" or "Old man". The Udege and Nani people called it "Amba". The Manchu considered the Siberian tiger as Hu Lin, the king. Since the tiger has a mark on its foreheads that looks like a Chinese character for 'King' ({{zh| s=| hp=Wáng}}), or a similar character meaning "Great Emperor", it is revered for this by people, including the Udege and Chinese people. The most elite unit of the Chinese Imperial Army in the Manchu Qing Dynasty was called "Hu Shen Ying", literally "The Tiger God Battalion".{{citation needed|date=June 2019}}The Siberian tiger is the national animal of South Korea. Hodori, the mascot of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, is a Siberian tiger. The tiger is also used as a charge in heraldry and is the national animal of Korea.{{citation needed|date=June 2019}}Vitaly, one of the supporting characters in the 2012 DreamWorks Animation film (Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted) is a Siberian tiger who speaks with a Russian accent, voiced by Bryan Cranston.{{citation needed|date=June 2019}}

See also

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References

{{Reflist}}

External links

{{Commons and category|Panthera tigris altaica|Panthera tigris altaica}}{{Wikispecies|Panthera tigris altaica}} {{Taxonbar|from=Q69581}}


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