The Siberian Tiger, also known as the Amur Tiger, is the world’s largest wild cat. This tiger’s population is largely unfragmented, concentrated mostly in the Russian Far East birch forests. The facts about Siberian tigers consist of their population, diet, and behavior.
In the 1940s, the Siberian Tigers were on the brink of extinction, but the number continued to increase over the decades after restoration and reproduction efforts, and more than 6,000 additional tigers are predicted by 2022.
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The Siberian tiger’s scientific name is Panthera tigris altaica. In Ancient Greek, the word ‘Tigris’ means tiger. However, the Greeks borrowed the term from other languages, including Persian.
The word ‘altaica’ comes from the name of the Altaic language group, spoken in Central and Eastern Asia.
Currently, the Siberian tiger is listed as a tiger subspecies, making it closely related to the Caspian tiger, Bengal tiger, and Malay tiger.
There was some controversy over how many subspecies of the tiger actually exist. A genetic study suggested six different subspecies of tiger lives.
Though they are technically the same species, they are geographically separated by thousands of miles across Asia. As for the lion, jaguar, and leopard, the tiger is part of the same genus.
A few million years ago, it possibly branched off from the rest of the group, maybe somewhere in Central Asia. The tiger is most closely related within the felid family to the wildcats, domesticated cats, and cougars, among other genera.
Siberian Tiger Facts
The facts about Siberian tigers include their hunting strategy, diet, and their characteristics. Here are some intriguing facts about Siberian tigers:
The tiger’s size can vary considerably, but the largest specimens can be about 11 feet long and about 700 or even 800 pounds in weight, making these creatures almost the size of a grand piano.
The narrow black stripes around the head and body are the most recognizable characteristic of the Siberian tiger, offering camouflage and stealth in the forests. Compared to other tiger subspecies, however, it has comparatively fewer stripes.
The thick paws, short pointed ears, flattened head and snout, a large muscular body, and a tube-shaped tail with black and white markings distinguish the Siberian tiger features.
It has longer hind legs than front legs, allowing it to jump to subdue prey at truly incredible distances in the air.
The Siberian tigers have a dense coat of fur to shield them from the frigid conditions of their native habitat. The fur consists mostly of pale orange colors around the head, legs, and back, plus some additional white colors around the eyes, snout, cheeks, and inner legs.
2. Size of tiger
The average body length of the Siberian tiger is 5.8-6.8 ft, though some largest males are almost 10-11 ft. The tail alone measures 3.2 ft in males and 2.9 ft in females.
The weight of the male Siberian tiger is between 155-195 kg. Comparatively, females are smaller in size, weighing 115-135 kg.
They can cover short distances at a speed of 30-40 mph (49-65 km/hr). They are the largest subspecies of tigers and can be considered as big as Bengal tigers.
The Siberian tiger prefers to live on its own. Like other tigers, they also have a significant amount of territory of their own. The male tigers will generally cross many females’ territories but will typically not cross other males’ territories. Siberian tigers usually have a den in a cave or other place in their territory.
4. Siberian tiger habitat
Eastern Russia is the home of the Siberian tigers, where 95% of them live. As the movement on the border of China and Russia, some population inhabits in Northern China.
Authentically, Siberian tigers are found across the Korean peninsula, northeastern China, and Russia’s far east. These subspecies are limited in the region of the Sikhote-Alin mountain range in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Krais of Russia due to habitat loss and hunting.
The siberian tiger’s habitat is also extended to China and a bit in North Korea. Their primary habitat is severe and frigid climatic conditions with extremely cold winters and heavy snowfall.
They are acclimatized to the harsh winter condition and are found in remote mountainous regions, far from human settlement, but are constantly moving in search of prey. These are some icy freezing facts about the Siberian tiger.
The female Siberian tiger signals the male for mating by leaving marks and scents around their territories. They do not have a fixed breeding season and can reproduce at any time of the year.
Siberian tigers are sexually mature at the age of four. When the male meets the female, they make their relationship for days or weeks, then the male sets off.
Females’ gestation period is around 90-105 days, and they give birth to litters comprising two to six cubs. Male Siberian tigers depart right after mating, leaving the female to fetch and care for the young ones.
6. Siberian tiger cubs
Females give birth to litters of two to six cubs raised with little or no assistance from the male. These cubs are born blind, cannot see for a week, and require intensive care and food.
Cubs cannot hunt until 18 months of age and stay with their mothers for two to three years. And they scatter to find their territories.
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The Siberian tigers feed primarily on wild boar, elk, and deer but eat lynx and bears. If the tiger cannot find larger prey, it feeds on fish, mice, and rabbits instead.
About 50 percent of the tiger’s diet would be wild boar in normal circumstances!!!
8. Loves to travel
The genetic study done on Caspian tigers and Siberian tigers confirms they have a common ancestor. They are believed to have traveled from Eastern China through Central Asia, finally reaching Siberia. That’s a lot of distance to cover.
Being the descendant of the traveler, Siberian tigers roam up to 1000 km in search of prey or mates. They are believed to travel up to 60 km per day. Thus requiring large areas in the wilderness, and the conservational site has to cover it.
Siberian tigers do communicate using various methods, and they mostly use scent marking. Being solitary animals, they need to communicate for mating and court for weeks.
The urine sprayed with marking fluid and anal gland secretion on the trees or other objects attracts males or females. The scent identifies the gender and breeding status of the animal.
They have different vocal skills ranging from growls, snarls to moans, spits, and hisses as the communication method.
10. Survive snow
The only subspecies of the tiger to survive in extremely cold and fridgy conditions are Siberian tigers. The body metabolism has evolved and adapted to endure in such cold, snowy weather.
The thick and dense fur helps them to warm the body, and the thick layer of fat reduces the possibility of heat loss. As they are known as a long-distance traveler, constant movement keeps their body warm.
11. Consume 27 kg of meat
Because Siberian tigers live in such cold regions, to survive, an adult needs to eat at least 9 kilograms (20 lb) of food each day, but adults can eat up to 50 kilograms of meat.
Siberian tigers can consume up to 27 kg of meat when hungry and normally can have 7-9 kg at one sitting. They need to do a lot of hard work to catch their prey.
The 30 minutes of stalking and camouflage from its prey will lead to a successful hunt. They drag their prey to the isolated place and feast on it. They mainly hunt bears, deers, boars, and sometimes fish, rabbits, and pikas.
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12. Range of population
Siberian tigers mainly live in eastern Russia’s birch forests, although some exist in China and North Korea. These animals have some advantages, although their northern habitat is much colder than that of other tigers.
Northern forests give the lowest human density of any tiger habitat and the fullest ecosystem.
As Russia’s timber industry is currently less extensive than many other nations, the vast woodlands also give Siberian tigers much more space to roam.
To drive their competitors away, tigers live alone and actively scent-mark large territories. They are strong hunters who travel several miles on nocturnal hunts to find prey, such as elk and wild boar.
As camouflage, tigers use their distinctive coats and hunt by stealth. They lie in wait and creep close enough to strike their victims with a swift spring and a deadly pounce.
A hungry tiger can consume as much as 60 pounds in one night, although they normally eat less. The fact about Siberian Tiger being a hunter is genetic as they belong to the wildcat family.
14. Aren’t man-eaters
Although often seen as a dangerous threat, Tigers are very elusive and tend to avoid humans at all costs. White lions also are dangerous but they are never attracted to the human but are extremely violent if they sense danger.
It is typically due to them being sick or wounded and thus unable to hunt properly in some instances where tigers become aggressive towards humans.
Occasionally, a declining population of prey species can also lead individual tigers to this behavior.
However, there are interesting and frightening exceptions to this rule. In the book’ The Tiger, John Vaillant recounts the story of a hunter called Vladimir Markov, a poacher in Far East Russia. He shot and injured a tiger until he killed a portion of it.
That wounded tiger stalked the hunter, ransacked his cabin, and then waited for him at the door to come home before it killed and ate him.
This unusual case seemed to suggest that the tiger was waiting for the hunter for up to two days before killing him in an apparent act of revenge. Tiger was waiting for the hunters for two days.
15. Near to extinction
Siberian tigers were once listed as critically endangered animals in the 1990s. When the Japanese invaded Korea, these species were completely wiped out.
After the end of the Soviet Union, the widespread deforestation and illegal poaching of the Siberian tigers were recorded. The current number of Siberian tigers in the wild is 562, and the importation and selling of tigers are outlawed in several countries.
These facts about Siberian Tigers show how lethal and aware they can be. Never make tigers your enemy. If you want to learn more facts about giant creatures like Polar bears, click here!
Tigers are among one the most preserved and close to endangered species. Their appearance and size are scary when you think of one-on-one meetings in the jungle.