Where in the world do tigers live?


Quick Answer

The world's tiger species are distributed throughout geographically diverse regions of Asia. According to the Miami Museum of Science and the World Wildlife Federation, tigers reside chiefly in India, China, Korea and Russia as well as in Thailand and Malaysia.

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Full Answer

According to the Miami Museum of Science, five subspecies of tiger remain as of the 21st century: the Bengal, Siberian, Sumatran, and Indo-Chinese (which includes two types). The Bengal is found mostly in India though there are also smaller populations dispersed through Bhutan, China, Myanmar (formerly Burma) and China. The Sumatran tiger is found on the Malaysian island of Sumatra; the Indo-Chinese subspecies is located in India and China. The Siberian Tiger, or Amur, is located primarily in the birch forests of Russia though it is believed that some isolated populations live in Korea and China.

In warmer environments, tigers generally prefer habitats such as rain forests, grasslands and swamps. These types of terrain offer protection from the intense sunlight found in these climates to which the tiger is quite sensitive. They also offer excellent cover and camouflage for the tiger, making it a more effective predator.

According to the WWF, the most extreme threats to tiger populations come from expanding human populations, destruction of habitat, poaching and retaliatory killing. As a result of these and similar phenomena, three known tiger species are already extinct: the Caspian, Javan and Balinese.

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