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Indo-Chinese Tiger

Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) is more commonly known as the Corbetts tiger, or Malayan tiger. It was recognised as a separate subspecies in 1968 when Mazak described a tiger from the vicinity of the Central Vietnam coastal town of Nha Trang. These tigers were found to be living across Indochina, eastern Burma and Malaysia. The Indochinese tiger is smaller, darker in coloration, and has less bold stripes than the Bengal tiger. They have a length of 101-112 in (222 - 246.4 cm) for the males and 91-100 in (200.2 - 220 cm) for the females, from nose to tail tip. They weight from 330-430 lb (150 - 195 kg) for the males and 221-287 lb (101 - 130 kg) for the females. There are between 1000 and 1700 of these tigers left in the wild.

Distribution: They are presently located across southern China, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and eastern Myanmar (Burma). Most of their habitat is made up of remote forests with hilly or mountainous terrain.

Habitat: Indochinese tigers live in remote forests in hilly to mountainous terrain, much of which lies along the borders between countries. Access to these areas is often restricted, and biologists have only recently been granted limited permits for field surveys. As a result, relatively little is know about the status of these tigers in the wild.

Indo-Chinese TigerDiet: Their main prey species are large animals such as deer, buffalo and wild pigs, but they will also hunt fish, monkeys, birds, reptiles and sometimes even baby elephants. Occasionally, tigers kill leopards, bears and other tigers.

Reproduction & Offspring: Indochinese tigers mate throughout the year, but most frequently between the end of November to early April. After a gestation of 103 days a litter of up to 7 cubs, although averaging 3, is born. Cubs will leave their mothers as young as 18 months old, or as old as 28 months old. During the first year, mortality can be as high as 35%, and of that 73% of the time it is the entire litter that is lost. The main causes of infant mortality are fire, floods, and infanticide, with the latter being the leading cause. Females tend to reproduce around 3 ½ years and males just under 5 years. In captivity, females have produced through age 14.

Life span: 15 to 26 years

Indo-Chinese TigerConservation status: Indochinese tigers are on CITES: Appendix I and are listed as Endangered by the IUCN. They are illegally poached for their fur and other body parts, and suffer from habitat loss. The Indochinese tiger (P.t.amoyensis) is under extreme threat of extinction.

Genetic diversity in Corbetts tiger:
Inbreeding can result in lowered sperm counts and infertility. Inbred animals also present with medical problems like crossed-eyes, sway backs and cleft palate. The intention of tiger studbooks is to chart the history and breeding of all captive animals so as to maintain a genetic balance.

Plans for increasing genetic diversity include the capture of further wild tigers for breeding purposes.

With the advent of the Indochinese Tiger Masterplan zoos in Malaysia have already developed a relatively large and successful captive management program.

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