South China Tiger
South China Tiger






The South China Tiger is a tiger subspecies and has been classified as critically endangered by IUCN since 1996 as it is possibly extinct in the wild. There is a small chance that some individuals are still extant. But already in the late 1990s, continued survival was considered unlikely due to low prey density, widespread habitat degradation and fragmentation, and other human pressures. No official or biologist has seen a wild South China tiger since the early 1970s, when the last verified record is of an individual brought into captivity.


The South China tiger is the smallest tiger subspecies from mainland Asia, but bigger than the subspecies known from the Sunda islands such as the Sumatran tiger. Male measure from 230 to 265 cm (91 to 104 in) between the pegs, and weigh 130 to 175 kg (287 to 386 lb). Females are smaller and measure 220 to 240 cm (87 to 94 in) between the pegs, and weigh 110 to 115 kg (243 to 254 lb). Greatest length of skull in males is 318 to 343 mm (12.5 to 13.5 in), and in females 273 to 301 mm (10.7 to 11.9 in).


They prefer hunting large ungulates, frequently kill wild pig, and occasionally hog deer, muntjac and Gray langur. Small prey species such as porcupines, hares and peafowl form a very small part in their diet. In the former range of South China tigers possible tiger prey species include muntjac, wild pig, serow, tufted deer and sambar.