The Siberian tiger (Panthera tigrisa ltaica), also known as the Amur tiger, is a tiger subspecies.
It is the largest tiger subspecies and the largest wild cat in the world.
Siberian tigers live in eastern Russia’s birch forests, and there are some in China and North Korea. It is estimated that there are around 600 Siberian tigers left in the wild.
Their main habitat in eastern Russia is 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.
Siberian tigers are generally found from 500 to 800 meters (1,600 to 2,600 feet) above sea level, with only a few reaching 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) or more.
The average lifespan for Siberian tigers is from 10 to 15 years in the wild, while in captivity individuals may live up to 25 years.
The Siberian tiger measuring up to 4 metres (13 feet) in total length and weighing up to 300 kg (660 pounds)
It has an extended supple body standing on rather short legs with a fairly long tail.
To keep themselves from becoming cold in the winters, Siberian tigers have thicker fur coats than tigers which live in southern Asia. They also have a thick layer of fat which helps keep them warm. Siberian tigers have extra fur around their necks and paws which helps them keep warm.
The Siberian tiger is reddish-rusty, or rusty-yellow in color, with narrow black transverse stripes.
Since Siberian tigers live in such cold regions, an adult needs to eat at least 9 kilograms (20 pounds) of food every day to survive, but adults can eat as much as 50 kilograms of meat.
Siberain tigers are carnivores. Siberian tigers feed mainly on wild boar, moose and deer. If regular prey is unavailable they will eat fish, rodents, rabbits and even small bears. During normal conditions, around 50 percent of the tiger’s diet will be of wild boar.
Siberian tigers are known to travel up to 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), a distance that marks the exchange limit over ecologically unbroken country.
Siberian tigers mate at any time of the year. Gestation lasts from 3 to 3½ months. Litter size is normally 2 or 4 cubs but there can be as many as 6. The cubs are born blind in a sheltered den and are left alone when the female leaves to hunt for food.
The mothers wean the cubs at two to four months, but she will protect them from predators and male tigers for another two years. Cubs learn how to hunt once they reach 16 months old, and at two to three years old they leave their parents and find their own territories.
After being hunted nearly to extinction early in the 20th century, the species received legal protection from the Soviet Union in 1947. At the time, there were as few as 20 Siberian tigers left in the world.
The Siberian tiger is still 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.
Siberian tigers live in such remote locations that poachers can kill them without being caught. Poachers hunt these tigers for the illegal wildlife market selling skins, meat and bones. They are also hunted for traditional Asian medicines. Local people often view tigers as threats to people and livestock and may kill a rare tiger if they see one.
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.
These 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.
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’ 王, 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.”
The Siberian tiger is the national animal of South Korea.