Where tigers remain in the wild
Last update: May 29, 2009 – 11:22 AM
It’s impossible to accurately assess how many wild tigers are left worldwide, but the generally accepted data come from a 1999 species report compiled by the World Wildlife Federation, Dr. Ron Tilson said. It’s also difficult to know the number of captive tigers in the world, because not all zoos are connected to the Assocation of Zoos and Aquariums, and illegal trafficking is done under the radar. “The one fact we are sure of is that the number of captive tigers worldwide is increasing and the number of wild tigers is decreasing,” Tilson said.
Tigers in North American zoos:
368, as of July 2008. Of them, 142 are Amur (northern) tigers, including those at the Minnesota Zoo; 73 are Sumatran, and 50 are Malayan.
Wild tiger estimates by subspecies:
Amur: 360 to 406, mostly in Russia.
Bengal: 3,176 to 4,556, mostly in India.
Indo-Chinese: 627 to 1,186, in southernmost China, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Malayan: 600, only in peninsular Malaysia.
Sumatran: 400 to 500, only in Sumatra.
South China: listed officially at 20 to 30, but Tilson believes there are no wild South China tigers living at this time.
Sources: Dr. Ron Tilson, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, World Wildlife Federation MARK BOSWELL • Star Tribune
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