The Siberian tiger, also called Amurtiger or Ussuritige , is a subspecies of the tiger and the largest living cat in the world. Its population currently stands at less than 500 animals, so it is considered an endangered species. It lives in the Russian Far East live and adjacent areas of North Korea and China, it is not near from Norilsk, but we want to revise Siberian fauna.
The Siberian Tiger is the largest subspecies of the tiger. The head-hull length is usually about 190-220 cm, in exceptional cases, up to 280 cm; the tail length is about 100 cm, the shoulder height up to 110 cm. Thus, he is taller than the King Tiger, which represents the second largest subspecies of the tiger. Male Siberian tigers weigh between 180 and 306 kg, females 100 to 167 kg.
The length of the Siberian tiger is 15 to 17 mm at the back in summer and between 25 and 45 mm at the belly. The neck hair is usually elongated and has a length between 30 and 55 mm. The whiskers measure between 70 and 85 mm and are compared to Sumatra Tiger , the smallest tiger subspecies, significantly shorter, whose length is for example between 80 and 120 mm. The winter coat, however, is significantly longer because of the climatic conditions: The back hairs then have a length between 40 and 60 mm, the belly hairs have a length of 70 to 105 mm and the whiskers hairs reach 90 to 120 mm. The hair on the chest and throat are extended, so that the big cat has a rather shaggy appearance due to the rather long hair.
The Siberian tiger is usually much brighter than the southern tiger sub-species, although the range of hues can vary considerably, and so also animals with dark reddish winter fur occur. The white on the belly and on the flanks of the flanks is more extensive than in other subspecies, the stripes are often not everywhere black, but often rather black-gray or gray-brown. A thick and long coat protects him from the low temperatures that can drop to as low as minus 45 ° C in his home country. In summer, however, the coat is much shorter than in winter. Underneath, there is a layer of fatty tissue up to five centimeters thick on the abdomen and the flanks , which also helps him to survive extreme cold.
Way of life
The Siberian tiger is very adaptable and inhabits both deciduous and coniferous forests, lowlands and low mountain ranges of the region. Most peaks in the area of oday's distribution area are already only 500-800 m above sea level and only a few reach heights of more than 1000 meters. The big cat seems to prefer dense vegetation, presumably to sneak up and hide. The Siberian tiger usually lives as a loner and marks its territory with urine and scratch marks. The example of a study in the Sichote-Alin Nature Reserve highlights the enormous space requirements of the animals. The grazing areas of the females were here between 200 and 400 square kilometersbig. The males 800 to 1000 and overlapped most with those of several females. So a hangover divided his territory on average with two females.
Occasionally, the hunting grounds of the cat can even cover 3000 square kilometers. Male tigers defend their territory against their mates. They focus on the important boundaries to the female areas and places with good prey stocks. In the best tiger habitats of the Far East you will find about a tiger per 100 square kilometers.
Siberian tigers are predominantly nocturnal and their lifespan is between 15 and 20 years.
Food and hunting
The Siberian tiger consumes 9 to 10 kg of meat a day , as it requires enormous energy reserves to survive in the cold climate . The main prey animals in this order are red deer , wild boar , sika deer and deer . In addition, he also looses moose , gorals , lynxes and occasionally even bears . Sometimes he also tears dogs and domestic animals. In general, the prey populations seem to have a much greater importance for the big cat than certain habitat types .
With his strong body, he can carry very heavy prey for long distances to eat or keep it in a quiet place.
The tiger spends a lot of time hunting since only 10 percent of its attacks are successful. Such an attack begins with sneaking up on the prey. When the tiger has approached close enough, he jumps with a huge set from behind on the victim to hit his canines in the neck . With his hind legs he stands firmly on the ground to push the animal down. Larger animals are then killed with a Kehlenbiss, smaller prey already die from the injuries in the neck.
Since the mating season is year-round, the female signalizes his mating readiness by urine marks or scratch marks on trees. Some females even go looking for mates, because the areas are so large and they are ready to mate for only three to seven days. If a female finds a partner during this time, it will mate several times and the couple will stay together for a few days, then separate again.
After a gestation period of 95-112 days, the mother gives birth to three to seven cubs. The newborns remain blind for two weeks. After two months , they leave their hiding place for the first time and receive small pieces of meat from their mother. However, they are only completely weaned after five to six months and start their first hunting moves. Already at the age of one year, they go on their own hunt for smaller prey animals. At four, they are finally sexually mature and leave their mother to look for their own areas.
Dangers that threaten the population
In addition to the loss of natural habitat, the Siberian tiger is threatened mainly by the reduction of large game stocks, which form its natural food base. Since meat is scarcely affordable for many people in the Far East, much is poached in the Tiger's habitat.
Siberian tigers usually avoid humans and only rarely kill cattle. If so, they are often younger animals that do not have their own hunting grounds. However, Siberian tigers, as well as Amurleoparden, often tear farm deer, which are kept in large gates. The cats apparently do not distinguish between free-living and tame deer. Therefore, the owners occasionally kill prey cats that they find near their farms.
The illegal large-scale logging is one of the main causes of the loss of the tiger habitat. In addition, the generous allocation of impact rights to Russian and international companies causes the clear cut of whole forests in the Amur region. The tiger usually avoids the large open clearing areas and it takes years before they are overgrown again. In addition, the seeds of the Koreakiefer in many areas, the food base for the wild boar, which in turn, the tiger is highly dependent. In regions with selective logging, the tigers are more likely to make a living, but this method uses a much larger area to harvest the same amount of wood. The many required access roads allow poachers to easily penetrate these forest areas. In many tiger areas large clearing lanes cut through the jungles. The last still undisturbed river basins of Primorye are the valleys of theBikin and the Samanga in the north.
Another factor that threatens the habitat of the Siberian tiger is forest fires. Artificially inflamed giant fires are said to increase yields in the fields, but unfortunately they often leap to adjacent forests, destroying the habitats of big cats. In some areas, repeated burnt forests have made them almost treeless open areas that are less suitable for tiger hunting. The tiger might even be ecologically capable of adapting to this habitat, but it is a very easy target for poachers, and for that very reason avoids such areas. The effects of the fires are significant especially in the south of the Primorye region.