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With less than 400 left in the wild, Sumatran tigers have become the smallest surviving tiger subspecies. Labeled as critically endangered with the major threats of habitat loss and poaching.

Panthera Tigris Sumatrae

The Sumatran

The Sumatran tigers are the smallest surviving tiger subspecies that still extant in Sumatra island. Sumatran tiger has the darkest color among all other tiger subspecies, their black stripes are width and the distances are sometimes attached tightly. The adult males may reach average 2.3 meters in length from head to the tail with a weigh 150 kg, while the females have an average length of 1.9 meters and weigh 100 kg. Sumatran tiger stripes are thinner than the other tiger subspecies. The male Sumatran tigers have more white beard and mane than the other tiger subspecies.

A male Sumatran tiger has huge territory that range between 100 - 200 km2. I can understand why we often heard the news, tigers entered the villages, actually it's humans who entered the tiger territories and causes habitat loss to the tigers. (Bobi Handoko)

Keep in mind, the Sumatran tigers are endangered species belongs to Indonesia that still extant after two of their relative brothers such as Bali tiger (Panthera Tigris balica) and Javan tiger (Panthera Tigris Sondaica) have been declared as extinct subspecies from Indonesia due to the habitat loss and poaching.

Tigers are believed to be descendants of the ancient predator known as Miacids. Miacids lived in the late Cretaceous approximately 70 million years ago during the age of dinosaurs in the West Asia (Andrew Kitchener, "The Natural History of Wild Cats"). Tiger then breeds in the eastern Asia i.e China and Siberia before splits to become two species, one moves to the direction of the forest of Central Asia in the west and southwest then become Caspian tiger (Panthera Tigris Virgata). The other moves from Central Asia to the mountainous of western region, and so on to the Southeast Asia and the islands of Indonesia, then continue moving to India (Hemmer, 1987).

The Sumatran tigers are believed alienated when sea levels rose at 6,000 to 12,000 years ago. Genetic testing on Sumatran tiger has revealed something unique which indicates, this subspecies have different characteristics than the other tiger subspecies and very possibly evolved into separate species. Sumatran tigers with their smaller size have led them to become formidable jungle explorers.

There are membranes between Sumatran tiger fingers that make them able to swim faster than the another tiger species, Sumatran tigers love water and great swimmers. During hunting his preys, these tigers are known to corner his prey until fallen into the water. Their fur color change to dark green while giving birth.

The Sumatran tiger is also able to climb the trees when hunting the preys. Extensive of hunting area of a Sumatran tiger is not precisely known, but it is estimated that an adult Sumatran tiger is able to walk 25 km just for hunting the preys. The deforestation is the greatest threat to the tiger population at this time, logging continues to happen, even inside the national parks.

Sumatran Tiger
(Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Mammalia, Order: Carnivora, Family: Felidae, Genus: Panthera, Species: Panthera Tigris, Subspecies: Panthera Tigris Sumatrae).

Sumatran Tiger
Solitary Predator

Sumatran tiger, as the main predator in the food chain, they always maintain their prey populations, so that the balance between prey and vegetation can be maintained as well. These animals have a sense of hearing and sight very sharp, it makes tiger to become efficient hunter. The Sumatran tiger is a solitary animal, they hunt by night.

Sumatran tigers can breed at any time. The period of Sumatran tiger pregnancy is approximately 103 days. Usually tigress gave birth to two or three cubs at once, and the most is six cubs.