Skip to Content

Amur Tiger: Why is it Endangered?

There’s something special about the Amur tiger. As the largest of all tigers, this subspecies is known for its power, strength, and stealth. But what makes it truly unique is its spirit.

  • Status: Endangered 
  • Known as: Amur Tiger, Siberian tiger, Altaic tiger, Korean tiger, Ussuri tiger
  • Estimated numbers left in the wild: Approximately 400.


Amur Tiger Laying on Grass

Anatomy and Appearance

The Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), also known as the Siberian tiger, is the largest and most impressive of the wild cats. On average, the male’s measure between 2.25 and 3 meters in length, and the females generally 1.7 to 2 meters.

The tiger is a magnificent animal. They have characteristic dark stripes that run down their body, and their fur is a rich orange or yellow color. Some Amur tigers are even known to have white fur on their chest and belly.

Shoulder height is between 95 to 120 centimeters. Siberian tigers range in weight from 120 to 220 kilograms, depending on sex. However, some giant male tigers weigh more than 300 kilograms and can have an overall length of 4 meters.

As with most tigers, the fur is a russet orange color with black striping, although the Siberian tiger is somewhat paler in color than other tiger species. White markings are found on the face, throat, and underside.

White spots on the back of the ears are thought to signal other tigers, most likely females hunting with their young. These tigers have long legs and can run up to 80 kilometers per hour.


The range of these species is restricted to the easternmost section of Russian Siberia, the Manchurian Mountains from Russia into China, and the northern forests of the North Korean peninsula.

However, the primary home of these wild tigers is the taiga forest region of Siberia. These animals are also referred to as the Amur Region for the Amur River, which flows on the border of Russia and Northeast China.

Amur Tiger Habitat

The Amur Tiger lives in a temperate forest habitat. This type of habitat is characterized by a mixture of coniferous and broadleaf trees and a diverse understory.

They prefer to live in forested areas of the taiga and deep snow, which is their key habitats. The Siberian tiger is nocturnal and will generally be seen during the day if desperate for food or if it has been disturbed.

This giant tiger has no natural enemies other than man, and only 20% of tiger mortalities are from natural causes – humans account for 80% of tiger deaths.

Amur Tiger Diet and Nutrition

These tiger species are exclusively predatory creatures and feed primarily on wild boar, elk, and roe deer. These species also and sometimes eat domestic livestock.

The diet of a Siberian tiger is primarily carnivorous, but they are also known to eat insects, berries, and other vegetation on occasion.

However, these tigers are not unknown to attack, kill, and eat Asian black bears and Russian brown bears. Some tigers mimic black bear calls to lure the bears to them.

Siberian tigers are apex predators, and they primarily hunt deer like roe and sika deer, wild boars, and elks.

They will also eat smaller prey such as rabbits, beavers, and rodents. Siberian tigers are ambush predators, and they typically hunt by stalking their prey until they are close enough to attack.

Amur Tiger Mating Habits

The Siberian tiger is a solitary animal, except when mating. During the mating season, males and female tigers will come together and mate.

The male will often compete with other males for the chance to mate with a female. After mating, the male and female tiger will go their separate ways.

As with most big cats, male/female pair bonding only lasts for a few days when the female is receptive.

A litter will consist of 2 to 6 kittens, with the sex ratio equal.

By the time these young tigers reach adulthood, however, there will be four females to every male – the shorter period males spend with their mothers and their larger ranges expose them to more dangers. These species can live up to 16 years in the wild.

Role in the Ecosystem

The Amur tiger is an important part of the ecosystem as it helps keep the population of other animals in check. They are also an important tourist attraction, generating millions of dollars for the local economy.

The extinction of the Siberian tiger would have a devastating impact on the environment and local communities.

The loss of this apex predator would upset the delicate balance of the ecosystem, leading to a proliferation of prey animals and a deterioration in the quality of the forest habitat.

Additionally, the disappearance of these tiger species would deprive local communities of an essential source of tourism revenue.

See RelatedWhy Is Biodiversity Important to Ecosystems

Relation with Humans

Although Amur tigers have been known to attack and kill humans, this occurs relatively rarely as the opportunities for the two species to interact are slight in this sparsely populated region. Generally, only a severe injury that prevents regular hunting will drive a Siberian tiger to seek out human prey.

As humans encroach more and more on their territory, the tigers increasingly conflict with us. In some cases, tigers have attacked people and even killed them.

In other cases, humans have killed tigers after attacking livestock or entering villages.

While it is tragic that these beautiful animals are losing their lives due to human activity, it is also important to remember that we are responsible for their decline in the first place.

If we want to ensure the survival of these tiger species, we need to take steps to protect their habitat and prevent further human encroachment.

Amur vs. Other Tiger Subspecies

The Amur is one of the tiger subspecies. The others are the Bengal tiger, the Sumatran tiger, the Indo-Chinese tiger, and the South China tiger.

Amur vs Bengal Tiger

The Amur species is a subspecies of the tiger, whereas the Bengal Tiger is a different species. The Siberian tiger is found in Russia and parts of China, whereas the Bengal Tiger is found in India and Nepal. The Amur or Siberian tiger is typically larger than the Bengal Tiger and has a thicker fur coat.

Amur vs Sumatran Tiger

The Amur tiger is the largest of the remaining subspecies of tigers, with males averaging around 400 pounds and females around 250.

They are typically reddish-brown, with lighter underbellies and long, thick fur. Sumatran tigers are much smaller, averaging only around 200 pounds for males and 135 pounds for females. They are also typically darker in color, often black or dark brown.

Amur vs Indo-Chinese Tiger

The Amur Tiger is a subspecies of tiger found in the Russian Far East and northeastern China. The Indo-Chinese Tiger is a subspecies of tigers found in Southeast Asia.

The two subspecies are similar in appearance, but the Amur is slightly larger. The Siberian tiger is also considered more aggressive than the Indo-Chinese Tiger.

Amur vs South China Tiger

The Amur species of tiger lives in the coldest parts of Asia. They are also known as the Siberian tiger. The South China tiger is also a tiger subspecies, but it lives in warmer climates.

Amur vs Malayan Tiger

The Amur is a subspecies of the tiger, while the Malayan tiger is a separate species. The Siberian tiger is found in Russia and eastern China, while the Malayan tiger is found in Southeast Asia.

Amur Tiger Facts

Here are the fun facts you need to know about the Amur Tigers

  • They are a subspecies of tiger that is found in the Far East.
  • It is the largest of all the tigers and has a thicker coat of fur that helps it survive in the cold climate.
  • Male tigers are typically larger than female Amur tigers. They also have thicker coats of fur, which helps them survive in their habitat’s cold climate.
  • These tiger species are carnivorous and eat wild boar, elk, and roe deer.
  • The fur on a male’s back and shoulders is usually black, while the fur on the rest of his body is light orange or yellow.
  • Female Siberian tigers have much lighter coats, and their fur is mostly a light tan color.
  • They live in colder climates than most other tigers.
  • They have evolved to be better suited to colder weather, with thicker fur coats and smaller ears that help to keep them warm.

Conservation Status

Amur Tiger in Captivity

The Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is a critically endangered subspecies of tigers found in the Russian Far East.

There are estimated tiger populations to be only 450 Wild Siberian tigers remaining in the wild, making it one of the most endangered animals. Habitat loss and poaching are the main threats to their survival.


Man is the greatest threat to the Siberian tiger, but another threat lies in their populations’ lack of genetic diversity.

As the numbers of these tigers have shrunken over the years, the genetic pool has naturally been seriously restricted. Although habitat destruction will further restrict the range of these wild tigers, the main threat comes from poaching.

Here are some of the threats:

Loss of natural habitat

The loss of natural habitat affects the Amur Tiger population because they lose their territory and have to compete with other animals for food. This can lead to tiger deaths due to starvation or being killed by other animals.

Limited food supply and prey base

The species is currently listed as endangered due to the limited food supply and prey base available in their natural habitat. This has caused a decrease in the Amur r Siberian tiger population, making it difficult for the species to rebound.

Illegal hunting and poaching

The illegal hunting and poaching of these tigers negatively affect their population. It is because these tiger species are killed for their fur, bones, and other body parts that are used in traditional Chinese medicine. As a result, the population of Amur Tigers continues to decline.

Climate Change

Climate change affects the tiger population because the tigers need to have a certain temperature in order to survive. If the temperature becomes too hot or too cold, then the tigers will not be able to survive in that climate. This means that climate change could potentially lead to a decrease in the Amur Tiger population.

Low Birth Rate

Low birth rates among Siberian tigers can spell trouble for the population’s future. With so few young cubs being born, the population may not be able to sustain itself in the long run. This could lead to fewer tigers in the wild, a tragic loss for this majestic species.

See RelatedElephant Poaching & Ivory Trade

Conservation Efforts

Face of Mature Amur Tiger

Although all international trade in Amur tiger parts is banned through the CITES treaty, poaching continues.

Russia and China are establishing a protected zone that passes through both countries, and radio collars will hopefully allow closer monitoring of the tigers and reduce poaching.

Additionally, Amur tigers are being bred in zoos worldwide as part of the Species Survival Plan, which breeds endangered animals in captivity with the hope of reintroducing them into the wild.

A list of conservation efforts for Amur Tigers:

  • Protect their habitat
  • Increase awareness about the population and encourage more to be born in captivity
  • Make it illegal to have them as pets.
  • Work with the Chinese government to help improve their conditions in the wild.
  • Support organizations that are working to conserve them
  • Adopt a tiger through a conservation program to help support their care and protection

See RelatedWhy We Should Care About Climate Change


Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance

Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance consist of 14 international and Russian non-governmental organizations that conserve Amur Tigers and reintroduce them to the wild.

The conservation organization is dedicated to preserving the Amur leopards and tigers. Both species are currently listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, and the alliance works to protect their habitats and populations.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation sells artwork to fund breeding programs, anti-poaching projects, fieldwork, and education programs to protect the Amur Tiger in Asia.

The UK-based charity focuses on conserving wildlife and habitats in Africa and Asia. One of the Foundation’s primary goals is to protect the tiger, a critically endangered species with only around 500 remaining in the wild.

To help achieve this goal, DSWF has worked with the Russian government and other partners to establish the world’s largest protected area for Wild Siberian tigers in the Russian Far East.

The Foundation has also supported anti-poaching efforts and provided research and monitoring projects funding.

In addition to its work on tiger conservation, the fund also supports several other wildlife protection initiatives.


Panthera is an American-based organization. Their main focus is to conserve the world’s largest wild cats, including the Amur Tigers, by supporting research and education programs in different countries.

Thankfully, several conservation organizations are working tirelessly to save these species from extinction. Panthera is one of these organizations, and they have set up the Amur Tiger Fund to help protect this magnificent animal.

If you want to help Amur Tigers, you can donate to the Amur Tiger Fund or adopt a tiger through Panthera. Every little bit helps, and we need to do everything to save this species.

World Wildlife Fund

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is working to conserve the Amur Tigers, a subspecies of tigers found in Russia and northeastern China.

The fun is a nonprofit organization that aims to protect the world’s wildlife and habitats. One of their primary goals is to help conserve the Amur tigers, a critically endangered species.

The WWF works with local communities in Russia and China to promote sustainable forestry practices and reduce poaching.

They also fund research on the ecology of the Amur tigers and their prey, which is essential for developing effective conservation strategies. In addition to their work in Russia and China, the WWF also supports tiger conservation efforts in India and Bangladesh.

Wildlife Conservation Society

It is a nonprofit organization that engages in wildlife conservation and environmentalism. One of WCS’s primary goals is to protect threatened and endangered species, such as the Amur tigers.

Final Thoughts

Adult Amur Tiger in Captivity

The Amur Tiger is a subspecies of tiger that lives in Russia, the North Korean Peninsula, and northeastern China. It’s the largest of six different species, but it’s also one of the most endangered because there are only about 500 left in the wild.

Many organizations are working to save this animal from extinction, including Panthera and Wild World Wildlife Fund. You can help the Amur Tigers by donating to these organizations or adopting a tiger through one of their programs.


What is an Amur Tiger?

The Amur tiger is a tiger subspecies inhabiting the Russian Far East and northeast China. It is one of the largest cats in the world.

What is the conservation status of the Amur Tiger?

The Amur Tiger is endangered, with only around 450 tigers remaining in the wild. Habitat loss and poaching are the biggest threats to their survival.

Why are Amur Tigers endangered?

The Amur tigers are endangered because of poaching and habitat loss.

Poaching has caused a decline in the population due to the hunting of tigers for their traditional Chinese medicine, skin, fur, and other body parts. Habitat loss has resulted from deforestation and land conversion for agricultural use.

How can I help support Amur Tiger conservation efforts?

This is a complex question and could only be answered based on the individual. However, there are some general guidelines to follow.

– Stay clear of any illegal hunting in Russia.
– Be mindful of tiger products coming from Southeast Asia, as the trade can link back to poaching activities in Russia and China.
– Volunteer your time or donate to organizations working towards Amur tiger conservation.
– Educate yourself and others about the plight of this magnificent species and the efforts being made to save the species

What organizations are working to save the Amur Tiger?

There are a few organizations that are working to save the Amur Tiger. They include the World Wildlife Fund, the Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance, and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Other Species Profile

Related Resources