Sumatran Tiger Introduction
The Sumatran tiger is an isolated subspecies of tiger that lives only on the island of Sumatra in the country of Indonesia. The Sumatran population of tigers became isolated from mainland tigers such as the Bengal tiger when sea levels rose after an ice age—cutting off the island. The Sumatran tiger has adapted to isolation and life on a jungle island, making it distinctly different from all other living tiger subspecies. The Bali and Javan tigers were close relatives of the Sumatran tiger—living on the islands of Bali and Java (also in Indonesia). Both the Bali and Javan tigers were hunted extensively and driven to extinction in the early 20th century, making the Sumatran tiger an especially unique example of an island tiger. The Sumatran tiger is the smallest tiger in the world. This small size helps it hunt effectively in its dense jungle habitat. It has a darker orange coat than most tigers, with tightly-packed black stripes. This darker appearance is well suited for its lifestyle of stalking prey in the dark jungle. The Sumatran tiger also has a distinctive mane of fur around its neck and jaw. The Sumatran tiger is a solitary animal, hunting on its own and only meeting with other tigers in order to mate. The natural prey of the Sumatran tiger includes wild pigs, birds, and fish. While the Sumatran tiger does not climb very well, it does occasionally prey on monkeys. One large kill per week is often enough to sustain them, but the territory required for their diet is quite large. Threats to their territory are one of the biggest problems facing Sumatran tigers, as well as poaching. Palm oil plantations have replaced the natural jungle environment, dismantling the natural home of Sumatran tigers and their prey. Sumatran tigers are also hunted for an illegal trade of tiger bone wine, which certain wealthy Chinese individuals wrongly believe to have medicinal qualities. Their fur and teeth are also highly sought after. Recently, conservation efforts have been made in order to preserve the Sumatran tiger and its habitat, but the tiger population is still declining.
Keywords to learn
Isolated: having minimal contact or little in common with others
Ice age: a cold period of history characterized by expanding ice sheets and lower sea levels
Hey Kids, my name is Sam the Sumatran tiger and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species https://www.kids.nationalgeographic.com
Lifespan:15 – 20 years.
Scientific name:Panthera Tigris Sondaica.
Mass:75kg – 140kg (165lbs – 309lbs).
Length:198cm – 244cm (78in – 96in).
Region Found:The island of Sumatra in Indonesia.
Population Status:Critically Endangered.
Current population trend:Decreasing.
Sexual maturity:3-5 years.
As you have learned, the Sumatran tiger is a unique and interesting type of tiger, fully adapted to its life on an island. The Sumatran tiger is also incredibly shy. It avoids people and is rarely seen.
Now that you know more about the Sumatran tiger by learning the key data above, be sure to also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.
Download questions about the Sumatran tiger here: Sumatran Tiger answers are on this page)
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Sumatran Tiger Fun Facts for Kids
- # 1. The Sumatran tiger is able to run as fast as 40 mph.
- # 2. Sumatran tigers have been known to eat crocodiles.
- # 3. Indonesia’s top religious body issued a fatwa or religious decree against poaching in order to preserve the tiger.
- # 4. Sumatran tigers can jump up to 10 meters if necessary while hunting their prey.
- # 5. Sumatran tigers have litters of one to six cubs.
- # 1. What country does the Sumatran tiger live in?
- # 2. Name one of the two Sumatran tigers close relatives that have gone extinct?
- # 3. What is one reason why the Sumatran tiger is being poached?
- # 4. What kind of plantations are replacing the Sumatran tiger’s natural habitat?
- # 5. What is the Sumatran tiger’s natural prey?