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Sumatran Tiger: Why Is It Endangered?

Sumatran Tigers are one of the most endangered species in the world. Sumatrans Tiger is also known as “the red tiger” because their fur is so dark, it seems to be dyed with blood.

  • Status: Critically Endangered 
  • Known as: Sumatran Tiger.
  • Estimated numbers left in the wild: 440 to 680.

Sumatran Tigers live in Sumatra, an island in Indonesia that’s home to many other animals too, but they are still critically endangered and face extinction if nothing changes soon.

Adult Sumatran Tiger


Sumatran Tigers (panthera tigris sumatrae) are the smallest of the six tiger subspecies and these tigers have been on the brink of extinction for years now.

Sumatrans tigers face many issues, such as deforestation and tiger poaching. Sumatra is an Indonesian island that is rich in biodiversity but has seen a critical population decline.

They are endangered because their habitat is being destroyed. They are also killed by poachers for their fur and other body parts, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

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Anatomy and Appearance

The Sumatran tiger is, in many ways, a typical tiger in appearance, with striking orange fur striped with black above and white underside.

However, it is slightly smaller than other tiger subspecies such as Bengal Tigers, and males have a distinctive, prominent ruff of fur around their necks, though this bears no resemblance to a lion’s mane.

Males are larger than females, measuring 2 to 2.25 meters long and weighing up to 140 kilograms. Females weigh 75 to 110 kilograms and are approximately the same length, though more lightly built.

The size and physical features of these tigers are adapted to the region where they live. Their smaller size gives them greater agility for traversing the thick jungle of their homeland.

Their paws are slightly webbed to assist with swimming, a major advantage thanks to the abundance of water in Sumatra. They will even live in peat swamps, where swimming after prey is often a necessity.


The Sumatran Tiger is found in scattered locations in Sumatra. The species prefers jungle or forest but is found at many different heights above sea level, ranging from the shore to high mountain forests. The species need large tracts of continuous woodland.

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Sumatran Tiger Habitat

The Sumatran Tiger is not found in any other area besides Sumatra Island. Sumatra is an Indonesian island that is located on the equator.

Their habitat is tropical evergreen forests that are dense with tall trees to provide them with cover from their natural predators. Sumatra is one of the most diverse islands in Indonesia and contains a large amount of biodiversity.

Sumatra has been home to tigers since the Pleistocene era, a period from 1.8 million to 10,000 years ago. As a result of Sumatra’s rich wildlife, the tiger also benefits from plentiful prey that includes deer, birds, wild pigs, and monkeys.

Sumatra is also one of the only places where tigers coexist with rhinoceroses. They reside in lowland and submontane rainforests, as well as swamp forests.

Sumatran Tiger Diet and Nutrition

Sumatran Tigers are carnivores and their diet consists mainly of large ungulates, such as deer, wild boars, and tapirs. They prey on deer and wild boar naturally and feed on local humans’ goats and cattle.

These tigers will also eat smaller prey items, such as monkeys, squirrels, and birds.

Sumatra is an Indonesian island that is rich in biodiversity but has seen a critical decline in tiger populations over the last few decades.

Wild Sumatran Tigers are the smallest of the six tiger subspecies and these tigers have been on the brink of extinction for years now. Sumatra is an Indonesian island that is rich in biodiversity but has seen a critical decline in number over the last few decades.

Sumatran Tiger Mating Habits

Sumatran tigers mate throughout the year, but mating peaks during late winter and early spring.

Gestation lasts about 103 days and females usually have litters of two to four cubs. Tiger cubs stay with their mothers for around two years. These tigers are solitary animals and tiger cubs will often stay alone during the day while their mothers hunt for food.

These tigers can have up to five cubs at a time, which stay with the female for around a year and a half before striking out independently. An independent species’ relatively fast reproductive rate is likely one factor enabling its survival in such unfavorable conditions.

These species can live up to 20 years in captivity, but it is estimated that Sumatrans only live up to 10 years in the wild because of loss of habitat and hunting by humans.

Human and Sumantran Tiger Relationship

The tigers are in danger because of humans. Humans are destroying their habitat and poaching them for their fur and other body parts.

Sumatran big cats and humans have been living together for a long time, and it is important that we continue to live together in harmony. We need to do everything we can to save the animal from extinction.

Indonesia’s last tiger

It appears as few as 400 Sumatran Tigers will live in this region. Its habitat has already degraded and threatens the survival of millions of people around the world from poaching in invasive areas. Kerinci Seblat national park and the Ulu Masensand Leuser ecosystem from Aceh in Indonesia.

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Sumatran Tiger Facts

Here are the interesting facts about Sumatran Tigers

  • Sumatran Tigers are the smallest of the six tiger species.
  • The species also have a different coloration than other species of tigers.
  • They face many issues, such as deforestation and poaching.
  • Sumatra is an Indonesian island that is rich in biodiversity but has seen a critical decline in tigers.

Conservation Status

Sumatran Tiger

Sumatran tigers are classified as endangered by the IUCN.

They are also more aggressive than other species, which is thought to be an adaptation for hunting in Sumatra’s dense forests.

Sumatrans have not been known to hunt elephants, unlike other tiger species that live amongst less dense forest habitats. Sumatrans can also retract their claws into their paws to keep them sharp while they are running.

The Sumatran tiger population is estimated to be between 400 and 600 individuals. These creatures have lost approximately 80% of their historic range, which has contributed to their decline.

Sumatran tigers are threatened by poaching, deforestation, and human-tiger conflict.


Habitat loss is a major hazard for the future of this rare tiger species. Acacia plantations and oil palm plantations are encroaching on their habitat as the jungle is cleared to make way for these commercial trees. Fragmentation is ongoing, and the tigers may soon be confined to just one-fifth of the surviving lowland forest.

One of the specific companies causing habitat destruction in the Sumatran tiger’s last refuge is Kentucky Fried Chicken, whose napkins and food containers are made from paper derived from clear-cutting of crucial portions of the Sumatran jungle.

These tigers are also poached for their body parts, in part thanks to lax protective measures. Tiger bones, skulls, canine teeth, whiskers, and skins all fetch good prices in Sumatra and are smuggled abroad as well.

Conservation attempts were also hampered by political unrest and violence, though a more normalized situation has allowed them to resume since.

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Conservation efforts

Efforts to save this rare tiger have been spearheaded by the Sumatran Tiger Project, which has been active in the area since the mid-1990s. National parks and special tiger conservation areas have been set up in a cooperative project involving the Indonesian Forest Ministry and the Australia Zoo.

Greenpeace and other organizations are fighting the jungle clearing that is going on to supply Kentucky Fried Chicken and other companies with paper.

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

The Sumatran Tiger Trust

The Sumatran Tiger Trust works to protect tigers in Indonesia through research, habitat preservation, anti-poaching patrols, the training of park rangers, and supplying them with the necessary equipment.

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Final Thoughts

Sumatran Tiger Laying on the Ground

Sumatran tigers are the smallest of six tiger subspecies and these tigers have been on the brink of extinction for years now.

Sumatra is an Indonesian island that is home to a wealth of flora and fauna, but has seen a significant decline in tigers over the last few decades. Deforestation and poaching are just a few of the hazards facing these specieces.

The Sumatran Tiger Project has spearheaded efforts to save this rare species by setting up national parks and conservation areas with Australia Zoo cooperating with Indonesia Forest Ministry to do so.

Another organization working towards saving the tigers is Panthera which focuses its work on wild cat conservation through research, education programs, anti-poaching patrols, training park rangers as well as supplying them with the necessary equipment needed for their work.

These wonderful tiger species are threatened by habitat loss, poaching, and human-tiger conflict, but with the help of these organizations and many more tigers may have a chance at survival.

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Are Sumatran Tigers endangered?

Sumatran Tigers are nearly extinct in this day and age. Sumatra is an Indonesian island that is rich in biodiversity but has seen a critical decline in numbers over the last few decades.

Why is Sumatran Tiger endangered?

Let’s take a look at some reasons below:

– Habit loss due to deforestation for logging and palm oil plantations has resulted in habitat degradation
– Illegal poaching continues today; these tigers are hunted for their beautiful coats which sell on the black market for $1 million per coat! These tigers are also killed as pests because they sometimes prey on livestock
– These big cats have low reproductive rates, with females giving birth to an average of 2.5 cubs in a lifetime – this means that the population cannot grow quickly and is more at risk of extinction.

What is the difference between Sumatran Tiger and other tiger species?

These tigers can grow to be 340 kilos (750 pounds), which is the smallest of other subspecies.

These tigers also have shorter tails than other tigers, usually about half that of other tiger species, and their stripes are not as thick or wide because Sumatrans live amongst dense forests with tall coconut trees for cover.

What are some organizations that are trying to protect Sumatran Tigers?

Sumatra Tiger Alliance is one such organization that these tigers face many issues, such as deforestation and poaching.

Sumatra is an Indonesian island that is rich in biodiversity and Sumatrans tigers on the brink of extinction for years now. Sumatra Tigers Alliance seeks to change this by creating a safe environment for Sumatran Tiger conservation on Sumatra Island and around the world.

By educating people about tigers and gaining popular support, SATE supports efforts to put an end to destructive development practices such as logging, mining, plantations due to improper tiger conservation policies.

They preserve tiger habitat by working with local groups so they may be spared from conversion into oil palm plantations or other ecologically destructive land uses which radically shrink their hunting range and leave them.

How can I help Sumatran Tigers?

As more of our forests are destroyed, people who care about Sumatra’s future must be active participants in supporting alternative ways for them to survive- like zoos and sanctuaries where they can roam free. As well as donating to charities working for tiger conservation.

Sumatrans face poaching because they’re so valuable on the black market for their pelts or bones or claws. Sumatra is an Indonesian island that is rich in biodiversity and has seen a huge decline in tiger population for years.

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