The 9 Types of Tiger Subspecies From Around the World

Written by Brandi Allred
Updated: August 11, 2023
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Tigers: ferocious, beautiful, endangered. They’re some of the most beloved big cats in the world, but they’re also some of the rarest. Today, fewer than 5,000 tigers survive in the wild, inhabiting just 5% of their historic range. While there is only one species of tiger — Panthera tigris. However, there are nine subspecies of tiger, which we’ll take a closer look at here.

Here’s a preview of the 9 Types of Tiger Subspecies:

9 Types of Tiger Subspecies From Around the World
Fewer than 5,000 tigers exist in the wild today.

1. Bali Tiger (Extinct)

Bali tiger with Ringling Brothers circus
Bali tigers died out sometime during the 1950s

©Hary Atwell / Creative Commons – License

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The last Bali tiger in the world died sometime in the 1950s. The subspecies wasn’t officially declared extinct until 2008 though. These tigers lived only on the island of Bali, in Indonesia. Males grew up to 7.7 feet long, and weighed up to 220 pounds. Females grew  up to 7 feet long, and weighed up to 175 pounds. These smallish tigers succumbed to habitat loss and overhunting. 

2. Sumatran Tiger

Sumatran Tiger under trees
Sumatran tigers live on the island of Sumatra

©I, Kevin1243, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

The only surviving member of the Sunda island tigers, the Sumatran tiger lives only on the island of Sumatra, in Indonesia. Male Sumatran tigers grow up to 8 feet long and weigh up to 265 pounds. Females grow up to 7 feet long and weigh up to 200 pounds. These tigers prey on several species of deer, wild pigs, porcupines, and monkeys, like macaques. Sumatran tigers are critically endangered; their main threats are poaching and habitat loss due to the palm oil industry.

3. Javan Tiger (Extinct)

Extinct Animals: Javan Tiger
The Javan tiger lived on the Indonesian island of Java until the mid-1970s

©Sigit Adhi Wibowo/

This tiger subspecies, endemic only to the island of Java, in Indonesia, became extinct in the 1970s. Male Javan tigers grew up to 8.2 feet long, and weighed up to 315 pounds, with females growing slightly smaller. Humans exterminated Javan tigers through a combination of hunting and habitat destruction. This subspecies was officially declared extinct in 2008.

4. South China Tiger

South China tiger on the prowl
There are less than 100 South China tigers remaining in the world

©Mikhail Leonov/

The South China tiger is the smallest of all continental subspecies. Fewer than 100 of these tigers remain in the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Hunan, and Jiangxi, in southern China. Male South China tigers grow up to 8.8 feet long and weigh up to 330 pounds. Females grow up to 7.10 feet long and weigh up to 240 pounds. Despite their status as apex predators at the top of the food chain, South China tigers are on the brink of extinction.

5. Indochinese Tiger

Indochinese Tiger walking in the woods
Indochinese tigers are threatened by illegal poaching

©Accipiter / Creative Commons

This tiger subspecies lives only in Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand. There are thought to be fewer than 500 Indochinese tigers left in the wild. Males grow up to 9.4 feet long and weigh up to 430 pounds. Females grow up to 8.4 feet long and weigh up to 285 pounds. The biggest threat to the Indochinese tiger is illegal poaching, as tiger body parts are in high demand for their use in traditional Chinese medicine.

6. Malayan Tiger

Two Malayan Tigers playing
Malayan tigers are critically endangered and there are fewer than 300 of them left in the wild

©Malcolm / Creative Commons – License

These critically endangered tigers live only on the Malaysian Peninsula. There are thought to be fewer than 300 Malayan tigers left in the wild. Slightly bigger than the Indochinese tiger, Malayan tigers grow up to 9.5 feet long and weigh up to 260 pounds. Their biggest threat comes from habitat loss and fragmentation, largely due to the palm oil industry.

7. Bengal Tiger

Wild Bengal Tiger lying on the grass and yawns.
Populations of Bengal tigers have stabilized, although they are still at risk from poaching


This tiger subspecies is endemic to Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Male Bengal tigers grow up to 10 feet long and weigh up to 570 pounds. Females grow up to 8.7 feet long and weigh up to 350 pounds. Thanks to conservation efforts in the past two decades, Bengal tiger populations have stabilized in many areas. However, they are still under threat. Their primary threats come from poaching for the illegal wildlife trade, and retributory killings as a result of human/wildlife conflict. The beautiful White tigers are a mutation of the Bengal tiger.

8. Caspian Tiger (Extinct)

Caspian Tiger
Caspian tigers could reach 10 feet long and weighed as much as 530 pounds

©public domain – License

Once found throughout the riverine valleys of Central Asia and the Middle East, this tiger subspecies went extinct in the 1970s. Caspian tigers succumbed to habitat loss—they specialized in many of the same environments that humans find favorable for agriculture and habitation—and overhunting. Males grew up to 10 feet long, and weighed up to 530 pounds, with females a little smaller. Caspian tigers hunted deer, mountain sheep, and wild pigs.

9. Siberian (Amur) Tiger

tiger in snow
Amur tigers are the largest big cats in the world today


Siberian tigers once lived throughout Eastern Russia and Northeast China. Today, they remain only in the Russian Far East. Males of this tiger subspecies are the largest big cats in the world; they grow up to 11 feet long and weigh up to 600 pounds. Females grow up to 9 feet long and weigh up to 370 pounds. Like all tigers, Siberian tigers are obligate carnivores. This means they need nothing other than meat in their diet. Prey species include roe deer, moose, musk deer, hares, wapiti, and even bears.

The main threat to the Siberian tiger’s survival is the demand for tiger body parts, like furs, bones, teeth, and organs. This demand is met through a combination of poaching, and captive breeding of tigers in inhumane tiger farms.

Summary of the 9 Types of Tiger Subspecies from Around the World

Name of TigerStatusLocation
BaliExtinctIsland of Bali in Indonesia
Sumatran400-600 leftIsland of Sumatra in Indonesia
JavanExtinctIsland of Java in Indonesia
South ChinaFewer than 100 left4 provinces of Southern China
IndochineseFewer than 500Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand
MalayanFewer than 300Malaysian Peninsula
BengalStabilized; over 3,000Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh
CaspianExtinctCentral Asia and Middle East
SiberianAbout 400Far Eastern Russia

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About the Author

Brandi is a professional writer by day and a fiction writer by night. Her nonfiction work focuses on animals, nature, and conservation. She holds degrees in English and Anthropology, and spends her free time writing horror, scifi, and fantasy stories.

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