Nine subspecies of the tiger are recognized.

Nine subspecies of the tiger are recognized. Three, P.t. sondaica, Javan tiger; P.t. balica, Bali tiger; and P.t. virgata, Caspian tiger, became extinct in the mid- to late-twentieth century. P.t. amoyensis, South China tiger, exists only in captivity. Four, P.t. altaica, Amur tiger; *P.t. corbetti, Indochinese tiger; P.t. sumatrae, Sumatran tiger; and P.t. tigris, Bengal tiger, survive in a much reduced and fragmented range relative to one century ago. A final peninsular subspecies, P.t. jacksoni, Malayan tiger, was named for the renowned tiger conservationist, Peter Jackson.

Traditionally, these subspecies were defined by their geographic distribution combined with morphological traits such as body size, skull traits, coat color, and striping patterns. Later, several lines of evidence suggested that the classical subspecies designations were not reliable.

Image | © Mathias Appel, Public Domain, (CC0 1.0)
Sources | (Tilson & Nyhus, 2010)

Learn More About the Tiger


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