After the international tiger summit last week, where Russia played a prominent role in pushing conservation, it’s important to take not of where tigers actually live. The vast majority of tigers today live in India, thanks to conservation programs. India has nearly half of the world’s tigers, with an estimated 1,430 Bengal Tigers. Part of the reason is that they’ve set up a slew of tiger reserves and are determined to attract tiger tourism.
Only 13 countries have tigers today; they used to roam across Asia to Turkey. The fate of the tigers is in the hands of the BRIC countries (well, minus Brazil). Russia, China and India are the tiger powerhouses. Russia, thanks to Vladmir Putin, has become very pro-tiger. China right now is the source of most tiger problems because its creating demand for poachers. (Habitat loss and lack of prey are the tiger’s other big worries.)
1,850 Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. tigris): Most are in India at places like Corbett National Park. India 1,430, Bangladesh 200; Nepal 150, Bhutan 70
450 Amur or Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. altaica): 18-22 in China, 400+ in Russia, 90% of which is in the Sikhote Alin mountain region. Critically Endangered.
400- Sumatra Tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. sumatrae), About 400 in Sumatra
350 Indochinese Tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. corbetti), Myanmar, Thailand, Lao PDR, Viet Nam and Cambodia, Endangered.
250+ Malay Tigers (Panthera tigris ssp. jacksoni) Malaysia.
0 South China Tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. amoyensis): Probably none left in the wild, 57 in Captivity. Used to live in China, India, Russia, Myanmar, Thailand. Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct in the Wild)
0 Caspian Tigers, (Panthera tigris ssp. virgata) Extinct in 1970s. Used to live in Turkey, Iran and China.
0 Java Tigers (Panthera tigris ssp. sondaica) Extinct in 1970s. Used to live in Bali, Indonesia.
0 Bali Tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. balica). Extinct in 1940s. Used to live in Bali.
Where to go to See Big Cats
Where to See Wildlife in Asia
Where to See Tigers in India