The tiger is listed as endangered because the population of mature individuals may be fewer than 2,500 individuals.
The tiger is listed as endangered because the population of mature individuals may be fewer than 2,500 individuals. 2,154 tigers were estimated in 42 protected source sites where there is evidence of breeding, (two populations are since known to have been lost.) Generally, tiger status outside the source sites is poor and large breeding populations are unlikely to exist.
To ensure tiger persistence, large population sizes, (implying highest possible densities,) and high survival rates of breeding adult females are critical. Although well-protected tiger populations may achieve recruitment rates that can sustain annual losses from mortality and emigration of 20% or more, some theoretical models suggest declines to extinction when annual mortality of breeding females exceeds 15%. Population declines in recent years have been most pronounced outside protected areas. The estimated population in Source Sites is a good proxy for the breeding population of adult tigers. This population has declined by over 20% during the last two generations of 14 years; the decline continues and may not be reversible in all sites.
Sources: (Chapron et al., 2008; Goodrich et al., 2015; Karanth, Kumar, Nichols, Link, & Hines, 2006; Walston, Karanth, & Stokes, 2010; Walston et al., 2010; World Animal Foundation, Tiger, Tiger Fact Sheet)
Image: Alexas Fotos