SPECIES PANTHERA TIGRIS SUMATRAE
The Sumatran tiger is the smallest of all remaining tiger subspecies and the last remaining island subspecies (the Javan and Balinese are now extinct). Like all tigers, it is a solitary cat relying on the cover of the rainforest to hunt. This subspecies is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN with an estimated number of less than 400 individuals remaining in the wild.
The Sumatran tiger is found only on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, with the largest population being located in the Kerinci Seblat region.
Sumatran tigers are critically endangered, with their main threats being habitat loss due to deforestation and poaching.
Their wild population now numbers less than 400. The world has lost approximately 96% of wild tigers in the last 100 years alone, with around 4,000 left.
The spots on the back of the tiger’s ears are known as “eye spots” or ocelli. These are thought to serve a number of functions – to fool predators (in the case of tiger cubs that may be vulnerable to predators) and to act as “flags” for young tigers to observe and mirror their mother to learn important behaviour.