Amur Tigers

Amur tiger

IS AN AMUR TIGER THE SAME AS A SIBERIAN TIGER?

The Amur tiger was formerly known as the Siberian Tiger. The name has been updated in recent years reflecting their current distribution around the Amur River basin of northeast Asia.

WHERE DO AMUR TIGERS LIVE?

The primary habitat of the Amur tiger is called the taiga - these are thick forests in the subarctic region, just south of the arctic circle. Taigas consists primarily of coniferous trees such as spruce, fir and pine, as well as birch trees. It’s a very hostile environment with harsh cold winters and thick snow. Amur tigers live in the mountainous taigas of the Russian Far East and Northern China.

Although Amur Tigers live much of their life in the snow, they are well camouflaged in their dense forest terrain. Their black stripes and orange colourings camouflage them well amongst the trees, and in spring and summer when the snow line recedes, they can blend seamlessly into their surroundings.

ARE AMUR TIGERS WHITE?

Many people mistakenly believe Amur tigers are white, but this is not true. White tigers are actually Bengal tigers with a recessive gene. Most white tigers have been bred in captivity for commercial reasons and exploitation, and sadly suffer from many genetic defects due to inbreeding. In the wild, white tigers are extremely rare; their lack of camouflage makes their survival rate very low. A white tiger in a forest stands out like a sore thumb!

ARE AMUR TIGERS ENDANGERED?

Amur tigers are on the ICUN red list and are considered endangered. Their population fell so low in the 1940s that they almost became extinct. Today numbers are ten times what they were in the 1940s, thanks to conservation efforts and political cooperation. However, their situation is still very perilous and they face many threats from human activity. It is estimated that currently around 500 Amur tigers exist in the wild.