Caspian Tiger “Panthera tigris virgata”
|Other names||Persian tiger or Caspian tiger|
|Scientific name||Pathera tigris virgata|
The Caspian tiger ( Panthera tigris Tigris, syn. Panthera tigris virgata ) was a tiger population in the Middle East and Central Asia. By the end of the 20th century, sparse forests and river corridors are inhabited in the eastern region of Turkey, Mesopotamia, the Caucasus, west, and south of the Caspian Sea in Iran via Central Asia to Xinjiang in western China. Results of the phylogeographic analysis indicate that the Caspian and Siberian tiger populations shared a common continuous geographic distribution until the early 19th century, which became fragmented due to human influence.
The Caspian tiger has been described as being of intermediate size between Siberian and Bengal tigers. It was also called the Hyrcanian tiger, Turanian tiger, and Babe Mazandarã ( Persian: Mazandarã tiger ), depending on the region of its occurrence. is the first in the list of extinct tigers
Caspian Tiger Size
The Caspian tiger classified among the biggest cats that ever existed. Males had a body length of 270-295 cm (106-116 in) and weighed 170-240 kg (370-530 pounds); females measured 240-260 cm (94-102 in) face-to-face and weighed 85-135 kg (187-298 pounds). The maximum skull length in males was 297-365.8 mm (11.69-14.40 in), while in females it was 195.7-255.5 mm (7.70-10.06 in). His occiput was wider than the Bengal tiger.
Some individuals have reached exceptional sizes. In 1954, a tiger was killed near the Šumbar river in Kopet-Dag whose plush fur was put on display in a museum in Ashgabat. Its head-to-head length was 2.25 m (7.4 feet). The skull had a condylobasal length of about 305 mm (12.0 in), and a zygomatic width of 205 mm (8.1 in). Its skull length was 385 mm (15.2 in), therefore, more than the known maximum of 365.8 mm (14.40 in) for this population, and slightly higher skull length than most Siberian tigers. In Prishibinske, a tiger was killed in February 1899. Measurements after skinning revealed a body length of 270 cm (8.9 feet) between the pins, plus a 90 cm (3.0 feet) length of the tail, giving it a total length of about 360 cm (11.8 feet). Measurements between dowels up to 2.95 m (9.7 ft) are known. According to Satunin, he was “a tiger of immense proportions” and “no smaller than the common horse Tuzemna.” He had quite a long skin.
Caspian Tiger Habitat
Historical records show that the tiger distribution in the Caspian Sea region was not continuous, but uneven, and associated with wetlands such as watersheds, lake edges, and seashores. In the 19th century, tigers occurred in:
the Eastern Anatolia Region, which is considered to have been the most western area where the tigers occurred. Records are known from the region of Mount Ararat, Şanlıurfa, Şırnak, Siirt and Hakkari Provinces in eastern Turkey; in the Hakkari tigers possibly occurred until the 1990s.
The only confirmed record in Iraq dates back to 1887 when a tiger was shot near Mosul, who is considered to have been a migrant from southeastern Turkey. There are also allegations of a historic tiger presence in the area of the Tigris-Euphrates River system in Iraq and Syria.
The southeastern tip of the Caucasus, as in the mountainous and plain forests of the Talysh Mountains, in the Lower Lenkoran, in the forests of the Prishib Plain, from where the tigers moved to the eastern plains of the Trans-Caucasus up to the Don river basin; the Zangezur Mountains of Northwestern Persia. In Iran, historical records are known only from along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea and adjacent Alborz mountains.
Central Asia, like southwest Turkmenia along the Atrek River and its tributaries, Šumbar and Rivers Chandyr; in the western and southwestern parts of the Kopet-Dag; on the outskirts of Ashkabad in the northern foothills; in Afghanistan along the upper course of the Hari-Rud in Herat, and along the jungles on the lower course of the river; around Tedzhen and Murgap and along the Kushka and Kashan rivers; in the Amu-Darya basin, as far as the Aral Sea and along the entire Aral Sea coast; along Syr-Darya to the Fergana Valley, as much as Tashkent and the western spur of Talas Alatau; along the Chu and Ili rivers; along the southern shore of Lake Balkhash and north to the southern Altai mountains, and southeast Transbaikal or Western Siberia in the east. In China, it occurred in Tarim, Rio Manasi, and Lop Nur basins
Read about: Tasmanian Tiger
Caspian Tiger latest records
In China, tigers disappeared from the Tarim River basin in Xinjiang in 1920. Since the Manasi River basin in the Tian Shan West range of Ürümqi, it supposedly disappeared in the 1960s.
In Iraq, a tiger was killed near Mosul in 1887. The last known tiger in Georgia was killed in 1922 near Tbilisi, after taking domestic animals. His stuffed body was put on display at the National Museum of Georgia.
In Kazakhstan, the last Caspian tiger was recorded in 1948, on the outskirts of the Ili River, the last known stronghold in the Lake Balkhash region. In Turkmenistan, the last known tiger was killed in January 1954 in the Šumbar river valley in the Kopet-Dag Range. The last record of the lower course of the Amu-Darya River was an unconfirmed observation in 1968 near Nukus in the Aral Sea area. Until the early 1970s, tigers disappeared from the lower reaches of the river and the Pyzandh Valley in the Turkmen-Uzbek-Afghan border region.
In Golestan National Park, one of the last known Iranian tigers was filmed in 1953. An individual was spotted in the Golestan area in 1958.
Several tiger skins found in the early 1970s near Uludere indicated the presence of a tiger population in eastern Turkey. Questionnaire surveys conducted in this region revealed that one to eight tigers were killed each year until the mid-1980s and that tigers had probably survived in the region until the early 1990s. Due to lack of interest, in addition to security reasons and security, without further field surveys were carried out in the area. A pair of tigers was reportedly killed in the Selçuk area in 1943.
The Pi and river area between Afghanistan and Tajikistan was a Caspian tiger fortress until the late 1960s. The last sighting of a tiger in the Afghan-Tajik border area dates back to 1998 in the Babatag Range.
Extinction Caspian Tiger Causes and Threats
There are some reasons for the extinction of the Caspian tiger
First, human civilization has mercilessly developed over the Caspian Sea habitat, transforming its lands into cotton fields, and even opening roads and highways through its fragile habitat. This led to the humans invading the regions of these tigers and colliding with them.
Secondly, the Caspian tiger succumbed to the gradual extinction of its favorite prey, which are wild boars, so the humans also hunted that animal, as well as falling prey to various diseases and falling in floods and forest fires (which grew more with changes in the environment).
third, the Caspian tiger was on the edge of a precipice, bound by such a small area of land, in such dwindling numbers, that almost any change would inevitably turn it into extinction.
One of the strange things about the extinction of the Caspian tiger is that it happened literally while the world was observing: many tigers died and were documented by naturalists, by the media, and by hunters themselves, in the context of the early twentieth century.
Although widely considered an extinct species, there have been many unconfirmed observations of the Caspian tigers over the past few decades. More encouraging, the genetic analysis showed that the Caspian tiger may have been spaced from a group of Siberian tigers (still present) 100 years ago and that these two types of the tiger may have been a single animal. If this turns out to be the case, it may be possible to revive the Caspian tiger in a simple way such as reintroducing the Siberian tiger to its native lands in Central Asia,
This project has been announced (but not yet fully implemented) by Russia and Iran.like the Australian project Museum that launched the “Tasmanian Tiger Reproduction project in 1999 “
Caspian Tiger Facts
- The Caspian tiger is said to have lived in border countries west and south of the Caspian Sea: Turkey, northern Iran, maybe part of Afghanistan, and Central Asia, including a part of the Taklamakan Desert in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwest China. It shared its habitat with its prey: deer, gazelles, mouflons, but also with other predators: jackals, wolves, cheetahs, and panthers.
- Its extinction is due to the hunting of tigers and species serving it as prey, to the destruction and conversion (for the development of intensive agriculture) of its natural habitat, and to the extreme vulnerability of small, more fragile populations. in the face of threats. Its decline would coincide in particular with the advance of Russian colonization.
- In fact, at the end of the 19th century, the government ordered its army to exterminate all the tigers to encourage its people to settle in the colonized areas. The destruction of this vast region, composed of forests close to water, whose courses penetrate more or less desert and steppe areas, in favor of intensive cultivation had a direct impact on the survival of the feline and its prey.
- In 1947, the Russian government prohibited the hunting of the Caspian tiger and that of its closest fellow, the Amur tiger. It is however too late for the Caspian tiger. The subspecies was therefore considered as definitively extinct by the IUCN in 2003. Recent genetic studies carried out on skins have however shown great proximity to the Amur tiger, which could then serve as a reintroduction stock in the former range of the Caspian tiger.
- Finally, during the 20th century, two other tiger subspecies experienced the same sad fate and disappeared: the Java tiger and the Bali tiger. Also, it is necessary to remember that the six subspecies still present in their natural habitats risk rapidly experiencing the same future if conservation efforts are not strong and effectively strengthened.
Siberian Tiger Project Introduction
Stimulated by recent discoveries that the Siberian tiger (Amur population) is the closest relative to the Caspian tiger, although slightly larger than that, discussions began over whether the Amur tiger could be a suitable subspecies for reintroduction in a safe place in Asia. Central. The Amu Darya Delta was suggested as a potential site for such a project. A feasibility study was started to investigate whether the area is suitable and whether such an initiative would receive the support of relevant decision-makers. The viable tiger population of about 100 animals would require at least 5,000 km 2(1,900 sq mi) of large extensions of habitat adjoining rich prey populations. Such a habitat is not available at this stage and cannot be provided in the short term. The proposed region is therefore unsuitable for reintroduction, at least at this stage.
While the restoration of the Caspian tiger has stimulated discussions, the tiger sites have yet to be fully involved in planning. But through preliminary ecological surveys it was revealed that some small populated areas in Central Asia have preserved natural habitat suitable for tigers.