The 9 Types of Tiger Species From Around the World

Written by Brandi Allred
Published: October 5, 2022
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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. The exact number of tiger species in the world has long been a source of contention among scientists. 

Today, there are two official species of tiger: the continental tiger, and the Sunda island tiger. Continental tigers are all those that live (or lived) in mainland Asia, while Sunda island tigers are those that live (or lived) on the islands of Indonesia.

Let’s discover all the tiger species of the world, both living and extinct!

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1. Bali Tiger (Extinct)

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

©Hary Atwell / Creative Commons – License

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

©Kevin1243 / Creative 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 pig, porcupine, 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 species, 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 species 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 stablized, although they are still at risk from poaching


This tiger species 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.

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 species 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 pig.

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 species 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 bear.

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.

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The Featured Image

Wild Bengal Tiger lying on the grass and yawns.
Wild Bengal Tiger lying on the grass and yawns. India. Bandhavgarh National Park. Madhya Pradesh. An excellent illustration.

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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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