10 Facts about Tigers

tiger chasing a bird
© Shutterstock / Gudkov Andrey / WWF
Fascinating Facts

Tigers are not just an iconic species, but crucial to the health of the ecosystems in which they live. Tigers thriving in the wild, is good news for wildlife, for people, and for our planet. 

Unfortunately, all subspecies of tigers are endangered due to habitat loss and poaching. Here are some things you might not know about tigers.


1. Biggest of the big cats

Tigers are the largest members of the cat family, weighing up to 310 kg.

2. Six Subspecies of Tigers

All tigers are members of the species Panthera tigris, but there are 6 remaining subspecies of tigers, each with unique characteristics and geographic ranges. The Bengal tiger, found in India, is the most well-known. The photo above shows a Siberian tiger.

3. Not team players 

Tigers are solitary hunters and prefer to hunt alone, often at night. They are stealthy and agile, able to run up to 64 km/h.

4. Distinctive Stripes

Each tiger has unique stripes, like a human fingerprint. Their stripes provide camouflage in the jungle, helping them blend into their surroundings.

5. Powerful Swimmers

Unlike  a lot of cats, tigers are powerful swimmers and enjoy being in the water. They can cross rivers up to 8 km wide.

Bengal tiger jumps into river
© naturepl.com / Andy Rouse / WWF

Bengal goes for a swim

6. Powerful Roar 

A tiger's roar can be heard up to 3 km away. They use this to communicate with other tigers and to warn off potential predators.

7. Apex Predators

Tigers are apex predators and sit at the top of the food chain in their ecosystems. Because of this, they play a crucial role in maintaining the health of their habitats.

8. Like the place to themselves

Tigers are territorial and use scent marking to communicate with other tigers. They mark their territory with urine, faeces, and scratches on trees.

9. Serious meat eaters

Tigers are carnivores and can eat up to 40 kg in one sitting. They have been known to prey on animals much larger than themselves, such as buffalo and crocodiles.

10. Making a come back

By 2010 the number of wild tigers had dropped to an all-time low of 3,200 and they were reduced to just 5% of their historical range.  After 12 years of concerted conservation efforts, the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) - an intergovernmental body for tiger conservation - estimated there were 5,574 wild tigers in July 2023. Tiger numbers are increasing but there is still much work to be done.


By adopting a tiger, you can support conservation efforts to ensure these unique and incredible creatures continue to thrive in their natural habitats.