Panthera tigris ssp. virgata 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Felidae

Scientific Name: Panthera tigris ssp. virgata
Species Authority: (Illiger, 1815)
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Caspian Tiger, Hyrcanian Tiger, Turan Tiger
Taxonomic Notes: Accepted as a subspecies by Mazak (1981), the Caspian Tiger is extinct, with the last records in the wild dating to the early 1970s and none in captivity (Nowell and Jackson 1996). Genetic analysis of museum skins indicate a close relationship with the Amur Tiger P. t. altaica, which could serve as stock for potential reintroduction (Driscoll et al. 2009).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2008-07-01
Assessor(s): Jackson, P. & Nowell, K.
Reviewer(s): Nowell, K., Breitenmoser-Wursten, C., Breitenmoser, U. & Schipper, J.
Caspian Tigers and their large ungulate prey were found in the sparse forest habitats and riverine corridors west (Turkey) and south (Iran) of the Caspian Sea and west through Central Asia into the Takla Makan desert of Xinjiang, China (Nowell and Jackson 1996, Abdukadir and Breitenmoser 2008). Its extinction can be attributed to hunting of both tigers and their prey, habitat loss and conversion, and increased vulnerability of small populations (Sunquist et al. 1999). The last Caspian Tiger was seen in the early 1970s, and there are none in captivity (Nowell and Jackson 1996).
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Extinct (EX)
2003 Extinct (EX)
1965 Very rare and believed to be decreasing in numbers
1965 Status inadequately known-survey required or data sought

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
China (Xinjiang)
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Bibliography [top]

Abdukadir, A. and Breitenmoser, U. 2008. The last tigers of Xinjiang. Cat News 47: 26-27.

Driscoll, C.A., Yamaguchi, N., Kahila Bar-Gal, G., Roca, A.L., Luo, S.-J., Macdonald, D. and O’Brien, S.J. 2009. Mitochondrial phylogeography illuminates the origin of the extinct Caspian tiger and its relationship to the Amur tiger. Plos One 4: 1-8.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.2). Available at: (Accessed: 10 November 2011).

Mazak, V. 1981. Panthera tigris. Mammalian Species 152: 1.

Nowell, K. and Jackson, P. 1996. Wild Cats. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Sunquist, M. E., Karanth, K. U. and Sunquist, F. 1999. Ecology, behaviour and resilience of the tiger and its conservation needs. In: J. Seidensticker, S. Christie and P. Jackson (eds), Riding the Tiger: Tiger conservation in human-dominated landscapes, pp. 5-18. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Citation: Jackson, P. & Nowell, K. 2011. Panthera tigris ssp. virgata. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T41505A10480967. . Downloaded on 24 May 2016.
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