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Sumatran Tiger

The Sumatran Tiger, Panthera tigris sumatrae, is the smallest of the surviving subspecies of Tiger.  It is a little smaller than the South China Tiger.

Genetic Isolation

The Sumatran Tiger was isolated from the mainland Tigers between 6,000 and 12,000 years ago by rising sea levels.  All three mainland Tigers are fairly closely related to each other, but the Sumatran Tiger is less closely related.

Swimming

Most cats do not like water, but the Tiger does, and, as with the other subspecies, the SumatranTiger will stand in water on hot days. But the Sumatran Tiger has taken this love of water further, and it has webbed feet.  It is a fast swimmer, and makes use of water to get some of its food.

If it is chasing a fast animal, the Sumatran Tiger will sometimes herd the animal into water where it can be caught more easily.

Apart from this, this big cat will actually catch and eat fish.

Food

This animal will eat a wide range of prey including Wild Boar, Tapir, Deer, Mice, Birds, Monkeys and Fish.  If it could catch one, it would eat an Orang-utan, but this ape is a better climber than the Tiger and rarely comes onto the ground.  Apparently Orang-utansdo not like being killed and eaten by Tigers.

Critically Endangered

There are perhaps between 500 and 600 wild SumatranTigers left.  The only place they live in is the Island of Sumatra.  During the twentieth century, a lot of people moved to Sumatra from Java.  These people naturally want to grow crops and do the things that Humans do. This is one of the things than has contributed to the loss of Tiger habitat.

Palm Oil

During the 1990’s and the early twenty first century, people have been growing palm oil to produce bio fuels both to replace fossil fuels as they become more expensive, and to try to reduce the Amount of Carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere. 

The jungle is cleared and the trees etc burned.  This puts carbon dioxide into the air. Then Palm oil can be produced.  Meanwhile, the wild animals have fewer places to live.

Fire

In 1997, there were some enormous fires in Sumatra.  There was an international effort made to put these fires out.  The fires resulted in further habitat loss.

The Tigers did not like the smoke and went out of the jungle, going on to the beaches.  The smoke drove out numbers of the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger.

The smoke clouds spread to other areas, and even drove out several extinct Javan Tigers.  Apparently they lived deep in the jungle and had not heard that they were extinct.
 
Pictures in this article are from Imagine Animals.
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