Tigers usually prowl solo, but depending on habitat and prey availability, they will tolerate each other and on rare occasions, even share a kill. These cats mark their territory dutifully and visit every part of their area at least every few weeks. Still, they seem to prefer to avoid each other than to fight. Usually much smaller, the largest reported home range was about 4,000 square miles in Siberia.


Tigers are carnivores and usually eat large mammals, such as pigs, deer, and buffalo. They stalk their prey carefully, waiting until they are very close before attacking. They kill with a bite to the throat or to the back of the neck. Though excellent hunters, tigers only manage to capture their prey about 10 percent of the time. This could explain why they can eat up to 88 pounds of food in one sitting.

Life Cycle

Female tigers usually give birth to 2 or 3 cubs that weigh up to 3.5 pounds at birth. About a half of all tiger cubs die within 2 years. They begin traveling with their mother at 6 months and by the time they are a year old, they can hunt. They are on their own by age three and may live into their mid-twenties in both captivity and the wild.

Some of My Neighbors

Malayan: Leopard, Dhole (wild dog), Asian elephants, Gaur, Sambar, Malay Tapir
Amur: Eurasian Lynx, Far Eastern Forest Cat, Brown Bear, Asiatic Black Bear, Wolf, Wolverine, Red deer, Sika deer, Roe Deer, Wild Boar, Goral

Population Status & Threats

The tiger is endangered. Throughout its range, the tiger is killed for its body parts, which are used as trophies and in traditional Asian medicines. Destruction of its habitat and its prey populations, however, are the tiger’s biggest threats. In 1920, there were an estimated 100,000 tigers in the wild. Now fewer than 2,500 adults remain, with their numbers continuing to decline.

WCS Conservation Efforts

Many tiger experts predicted the tiger would be extinct in the wild by the year 2000. Since then, WCS has worked hard—in Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Russia, and Thailand—to prove them wrong. By studying tiger threats and basic tiger ecology, WCS is helping to save existing tiger populations and improve conditions for their expansion.

In 2006 WCS and Panthera, a wild cat conservation group, launched Tigers Forever, an action plan to ensure tigers will survive in the wild forever. This program aims to increase tiger numbers at WCS sites across Asia by 50 percent in the next 10 years. To learn more about Tigers Forever and how you can support this program, please visit www.tigersforever.org

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