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Where Do South Chinese Tigers Live?

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The South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis) is a subspecies that historically roamed throughout southeastern China. These creatures are sturdily but relatively slightly built for tigers. South Chinese tigers are endangered for several reasons, including poaching and destruction of their natural habitat. A small number might still exist in the wild.

South China Tiger Geography

South China tigers reside in Hunan, Fujian, Jiangxi and Guangdong provinces, below the Yangtze River. In the wild, these tigers live only in China.

Natural Habitat

South China tigers inhabit extremely fragmented ranges of land, typically montane evergreen forests, thick, damp tropical forests and rocky mountains. Throughout history, these tigers also frequently took up residence in caves of coastal regions. South China tigers need habitats with ample vegetation and abundant prey. It is also very important for them to always be near reliable sources of water.

As an Endangered Species

South China tigers are critically endangered, according to the Red List of Threatened Species in 2008 from the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Problems with habitat are a major reason. First, their habitats are generally not spacious enough for them to thrive. Typical ranges for these tigers are smaller than 200 square miles, reports the World Wildlife Fund. Commercial tree harvesting and livestock are two other major reasons behind the decrease in habitat. Poaching also has reduced their numbers.

Numbers of South China Tigers

The total population of South China tigers in the wild might be less than 30, indicates the Natural History Museum. South China tigers haven't been verified in the wild in decades, states Tigers in Crisis. In captive settings such as zoos, there are approximately 80 or so of the tigers. In the past, populations were significantly higher. In the early 1950s, more than 4,000 of these animals were believed to live in the wild.