According to the Chinese New year, on the 1st of February has begun the year of the tiger.
The tiger is an endangered animal species, Our Zoo also presents 4 subspecies. The Chinese New Year is a great time to share some interesting things about these striped big cats.
Although about 100 000 tigers lived throughout Asia a century ago, their wildlife is now estimated at up to 7000 individuals and is only 7% of their former range.
Three of its nine subspecies are already extinct: The Balinese tiger in the 1941s, the Caspian tiger in the 1970s, and the Javanese tiger in the 1980s.
The International Union for Conversation of Nature ( IUCN) classifies two of the six living subspecies into the severely endangered category: the wild population of the Sumatran tiger is estimated at 400-500, while the southern Chinese tiger is now estimated at only 20-30 individuals. The other four subspecies are classified as endangered. Their survival is threatened primarily by poaching and habitat loss.
The size and other characteristics of the largest feline living today vary from subspecies. The smallest subspecies, the Sumatran tiger, weighs on average between 90 and 110 kg, while the largest Siberian tiger weighs more than 300 kg.
The Nyíregyháza Zoo currently has a Malay (Panthera tigris jacksoni) and Sumatran tiger (P.t. sumatrae) breeding pair, a 4-person Siberian tiger (P.t. altaica) family, - which came under the European Endangered Species Program (EEP) ,- and 2 white Bengal tigers (P.t. altaica) is displayed.
How can be differentiate them?
The Malay tiger is smaller, darker in color, and its stripes are narrower than the Bengal tiger. Its number of habitats has declined by more than 70 percent in the last 12 years. Currently, only 400-500 individuals live in the wild.
The rare Siberian tiger does not actually live in Siberia, but in the Amur and Ussuri rivers, which is why it is also called the Amur tiger. From the tigers, the Siberian has the richest fur, and needs it because the winter is very cold in its habitat. Thus, the Amur tiger family spends the winter in our open-air park. Only 400-500 individuals live in the wild, and despite strict protection, poaching still threatens its very existence. This subspecies is the most common in zoos, as we do not have to provide them with a heated interior.
The Sumatran are the smallest and southernmost tiger species alive today. Currently, only 400 individuals live freely, while in the world's zoos approx. 300.
Conservation of Nature status: directly endangered by extinction.
It is differentiated from other subspecies by its small stature and muzzle mane.
The white tiger was created as a mutation from the Bengal tiger. The first white tiger was captured in Central India in 1951 and named Mohan. It comes from this big cat, all the captive white tigers --- this color variation would not live in nature as it could not hide.
The Nyíregyháza Zoo is a real curiosity for tiger fans, as 4 of the 6 still alive subspecies can be seen here!