The tiger is the largest cat in the world and a fascinating creature. It is the favorite animal of many people and the national animal of India and understandably so. It is deadly, majestic, agile and beautiful. However, this species is severely endangered: there are fewer than 4,000 individuals remaining in the wild, down from 100,000 in early 20th century. There are many reasons for their disappearance, including habitat destruction and fragmentation, and poaching.
Which subspecies of tiger is most endangered?
There are officially ten tiger subspecies, though one became extinct in prehistory. Of the remaining nine, three (the Bali, Caspian and Javan tigers) became extinct at some point during the 20th century, and the remaining six are currently endangered. The largest surviving subspecies today are Bengal tigers, with a rough population estimate of 2,500 – in comparison, there are only 65 South China tigers, all in captivity, and no reported wild sightings of this particular subspecies in over 25 years. As such, the South China tiger is already considered functionally extinct.