Friday, May 28, 2010

Malayan Tiger

The Malayan Tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni), exclusively found in the southern part of the Malay Peninsula, was not considered a subspecies in its own right until 2004. The new classification came about after a study by Luo et al. from the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity Study, part of the National Cancer Institute of the United States. Recent counts showed there are 600–800 tigers in the wild, making it the third largest tiger population, behind the Bengal tiger and the Indochinese tiger. The Malayan tiger is the smallest of the mainland tiger subspecies, and the second smallest living subspecies, with males averaging about 120 kg and females about 100 kg in weight. The Malayan tiger is a national icon in Malaysia, appearing on its coat of arms and in logos of Malaysian institutions, such as Maybank.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Indochinese Tiger

The Indochinese Tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti), also called Corbett's tiger, can be found at: Cambodia, China, Laos, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam. These tigers are similar but darker from their closest relatives Bengali tigers. Males weigh from 150–190 kg (330–420 lb) while females are smaller at 110–140 kg (240–310 lb). The most commonly inhabit the mountain forests and highlands. Estimated population of Indochinese tigers varies between 1200 to 1800, and in the wild they were only a few hundred. All existing populations are at extreme risk from poaching, prey depletion as a result of poaching of primary prey species such as deer and wild pigs, habitat fragmentation and inbreeding. In Vietnam, almost three-quarters of the tigers killed provide stock for Chinese pharmacies. Due to frequent wars, no one controls the poachers, for the same reason no one dares to check what is the actual number of tigers in the wild, and as it stands will not even know soon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bengal Tiger

Bengal Tiger or Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is the most common subspecies of tiger in the world, and mostly live in India and Bangladesh. They adapted to life in a variety of habitats: grasslands, subtropical and tropical rainforests, scrub forests, wet and dry deciduous forests, and mangroves.

Males in the wild usually reach the weight of 205 to 227 kg (450 to 500 lb), while females average weight is about 141 kg (300 lb). However, the northern Indian and the Nepalese Bengal tigers are somewhat bulkier than those found in the south of the Indian Subcontinent, with males averaging around 235 kilograms (520 lb).

While conservationists already believed the population in the wild to be below 2000, the most recent audit by the Indian Government's National Tiger Conservation Authority, estimated that there were only 1411 wild tigers (1165–1657 allowing for statistical error), that their number decreased by 60 percent in past decade.

Since 1972, there has been a massive wildlife conservation project, , known as Project Tiger, to protect the Bengal tiger. Despite increased efforts by the Indian officials, poaching remains a major problem, and at least one Tiger Reserve (Sariska Tiger Reserve) has lost its entire tiger population to poaching. The main problem is the rapidly-expanding population of Inije, which occupies the tiger habitat, tigers so often come into conflict with people, of course people killed them because of fear for their lives.

Friday, May 14, 2010

White Siberian tiger

White tigers are not a separate tiger species nor the subspecies, they are the result of rare mutations that are passed from the normal orange tigers. People usually associated white tigers with Siberian tigers, because Siberian tigers inhabit snowy landscapes, and their white fur serves as camouflage. The truth however is that Siberian tigers are orange like all other tiger subspecies. It's even thought that their fur adjusted somewhat to snowy areas where they hunt.

The existence of white Siberian tigers in fact never been proven, in facts of Siberian tigers population may not even carry a white fur gene. When the white Siberian tiger is born, he is probably the result of a previous mating with a white Bengal tiger, which was caused to Siberian parents carry a gene of white fur. It is known that Bengal tigers carry the genes of white fur.

There is however several reports of sightings of white Siberian tiger from the region inhabited by normal orange Siberian tiger, but nothing have been scientifically determined yet. Hopefully, future DNA testing can tell us whether or not a pure Siberian tiger can carry the gene for white fur. This would show us whether two pure Siberian tiger parents can produce a white Siberian tiger or not. A DNA testing project would however face a great challenge: a large portion of the Siberian tiger population has already been eradicated. Which genes those tigers carried, and how diverse the Siberian tiger gene pool once were, we might never find out.

White tigers are sometimes mistakenly replaced as albino tigers, but it's not quite correct term. White Bengal tigers have black or brown stripes and the reports of white Siberian tiger from the wild all speak of clearly striped Siberian white tiger. If they really albino, they would not have any stripes at all. A pure Siberian white tiger would have brown stripes on a creamy white background. Since the white Siberian tigers bred in captivity is the result of a mixture of Bengal and Siberian heritage, it can have black stripes as well. The eyes of the Bengal and Siberian white tiger are blue and the nose is of a pink shade.

Since the gene for white fur is recessive in tigers, Both parents must carry a gene in order to produce a white tiger cub. Since such a mating extremely rare, white tigers are rarely seen in the wild. Humans have however selectively bred white tigers from parents known to carry the gene and they are therefore quite common in captivity. White Bengal and white Siberian tigers are not included in the official tiger breeding programs for conservational purposes. They can however help their orange coloured relatives by making people more interested in tigers and willing to set aside resources for the protection of the wild tiger population. One example is the famous white Siberian tiger Taj. Just like the other bred in captivity white Siberian tigers, and he also has an Bengal ancestor. Taj was born in 1984, at the Henry Doorly Zoo. After two years, he moved to the National Zoo (Smithsonian Institution).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Releasing Siberian Tiger in China

Siberian tiger park in Harbin, northeast China. Scientists are trying to save siberian tigers and send tigers back to their former homeland. Harbin siberian park has over 800 siberian tigers and is the biggest of world.