The Amur tiger is the largest big cat on earth. Though comparable in weight to Bengal tigers, with males averaging 176 kg (390 lbs) and females averaging 118 kg (260 lbs), Amur tigers’ bodies and fur tend to be longer. The primary range of the Amur tiger encompasses a total area of 128,000 km2 in the Russian Far East, with dispersing individuals occasionally crossing into northeastern China. Because of low prey densities, Amur tigers exist at the incredibly low density of 0.62 individuals/100 km2. Although much potential habitat exists for Amur tigers, the wild population likely numbers fewer than 500.
Currently, the primary threat to Amur tigers is the poaching of tigers and their prey, facilitated by habitat fragmentation from logging activities. Disease poses an emerging threat to Amur tigers. Due to a population bottleneck—a reduction in the number of individual tigers to a very small number—that occurred in the 1950’s, Amur tigers have low genetic diversity. Low genetic diversity can cause greater susceptibility to disease, particularly in tiger cubs, and result in high mortality.
The Tiger Conservation Campaign is supporting efforts to decrease the poaching of tigers and their prey, and increase the ability of locals to address wildlife health issues. Efforts to reduce poaching involve identifying poaching hotspots, evaluating anti-poaching activities, and rewarding anti-poaching patrols that perform well. To learn more, including how to help, click here.