Extinct and Endangered Plants and Animals

Are tigers in danger of becoming extinct?

Tigers are listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and are included in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. They are found in isolated regions of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Southeast Asia, Manchuria, China, Korea, Russia, and Indonesia. Four subspecies of tiger—Balinese tiger (Panthera tigris balica), South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis), Caspian tiger (Panthera tigris virgata), and Javan tiger (Panthera tigris sondiaca) have become extinct due to habitat loss, poaching, and overhunting.

The Siberian tiger, also known as the Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is one subspecies that has made a comeback in recent years. Its total worldwide population had dropped to 20 or 30 individuals in 1940, but there are over 500 in the wild today. Since mid-1990s there has been an increase in the poaching of the Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) since the bones of this subspecies are a valuable commodity on the black market. Tiger bones are used in Chinese medicines.


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