Amur Tiger

David Bradbury

Blackpool, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

The Amur or Siberian tigers are the largest naturally occurring cat in the world. They have several distinguishing features in the coat colour and stripe pattern when compared to the other sub species.

Amur tigers are typically paler in colour with a pale orange coat and comparatively wide stripes. In contrast, the Sumatran tiger is very deep orange with thin stripes that are very closely banded together. The fur is very thick and coarse, due to the extreme variation in temperature in their native range.

The Amur tiger typically inhabits pine forest, where they have an abundance of up to seven ungulate species in which to prey on. During times of low ungulate abundance, Amur tigers have been known to prey upon young bears. They often attack brown bears, as they are not known climbers like the black bear, who can often escape tiger attacks using the trees. As the tiger population in an area increases, it has shown to have a negative impact on wolves to the point of causing localised extinction in some areas.

Due to their harsh environment, there is no specific breeding season and mating may occur year round. Females in season will typically spend 5 days with a wandering male, but will only be receptive for 3 of these days. Gestation is relatively short; 3-3½ months, after which 2-4 cubs are born and solely cared for by the female. Female cubs typically spend much longer with their mother than male cubs, who will move away to find home ranges of their own, and often because of this end up becoming much more at risk of being poached.

The main threats to the wild Amur tiger population are very similar to those facing other big cat species; loss of habitat (a single female requires up to 450 km2), poaching for the fur trade and the use of tiger body parts in the traditional medicine trade.

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