IUCN Redlist Status
Location and Habitat
Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, are located in northeast China, eastern Russia and parts of North Korea. This region is called the Amur Region, named after the Amur River which forms a small portion of the eastern border between China and Russia. This region is characterized by mountainous areas and coniferous forests. The climate of the Amur region largely varies from summer to winter. In the summer, it may be mild to hot. In the winter, it may be bitterly cold, especially at higher altitudes.
Amur tigers, like other tigers, are solitary. Each tiger will have a large territory that they will roam in search of food and at times a mate. Male tigers' territories will often cross those of several females' territories, but will generally not cross the territories of other males. In their territories, they may have a den or lair in a cave or other area.
These large cats feed mostly on elk, deer and wild boar that inhabit the region. At times, particularly if larger prey is unavailable, they may feed on smaller animals such as fish or rabbits.
Amur tigers are the largest of all tigers, and the largest of all of cats (including lions). Males will often reach lengths of 6 - 9 feet (1.83 - 2.74m), but reports of these cats being larger than 11 feet have been made. They often weigh between 300 - 600 lbs (136 - 272kg), but can weigh as much as 700 lbs (318kg) or more!
To be able to combat the cold conditions of the winter, Amur tigers have thicker fur coats than tigers that live in southern Asia. They also have a thick layer of fat that help keep them warm. They have stripes and are a shade of orange in color. Stripes help to camoflauge them while stalking prey. Many of the animals that are hunted by them are red-green colorblind (such as elk and deer), and orange is a color that they cannot see. Like deer hunters wearing orange vests during deer season, their orange coats would not hinder their abilities to sneak up on many types of prey.
Amur tigers closely resemble other tigers, and it could be difficult to tell them apart if seen next to one another. They are slightly more bulky or stock, and they have extra fur around their necks. They also have large paws with fur on the bottoms that help keep them warm. They also have less orange in their coats, and have less stripes.
Females' gestation periods last approximately 3 - 3.5 months. At the time of birth, they will usually have litters of 3 or 4 kittens.
Because an Amur tiger may traverse large areas of land in order to feed or find a mate, habitat destruction is particularly hard on the population. If roads are made through their habitat, or the forests in which they live are cut down, their abilities to reproduce will be reduced.
Poaching is another element that, over the years, has caused their population to decline. As regulation has increased to protect the tigers, the monetary value of killing a tiger to sell has also increased. At this time, there may only be about 500 Amur tigers left in the wild. Luckily, their numbers may be slowly increasing.