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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Javan Tiger
A well known picture of a Javan tiger (1938)
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. tigris
Subspecies: P. t. sondaica
Trinomial name
Panthera tigris sondaica
(Temminck, 1844)
Javan tiger range map

The Javan tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) was a subspecies of tiger limited to the Indonesian island of Java. It now seems likely that this subspecies was made extinct in the 1980s, as a result of hunting and habitat destruction, but the extinction of this subspecies became increasingly probable from the 1950s onwards, when it is thought that fewer than 25 tigers remained in the wild. The last specimen was sighted in 1972. A track count in 1979 concluded that three of the tigers were in existence. It is possible that a small population of tigers continues to exist on West Java, where there were unverified sightings in the 1990s.[2] [3]


Physical description

Javan tigers were very small compared to other subspecies. Males were between 100 and 140 kg (220 and 310 lb) on average and around 2.45 m (8.0 ft) in length. Females weighed between 75 and 115 kg (170 and 250 lb) on average and are smaller than males in length.

Continued reported sightings

Occasional reports still surface of a few tigers to be found in east Java where the forested areas account for almost thirty percent of the land surface. Meru Betiri National Park, the least accessible area of the island, is located here and considered the most likely area for any remaining Javan tigers. This park is now coming under threat from three gold mining companies after the discovery of 80,000 tons of gold deposit within the locality.

Despite the continuing claims of sightings it is far more likely that, even with full protection and in reserve areas, the Javan tiger was unable to be saved. The 'tigers' are quite likely to be leopards seen from a distance.

At the present time the World Conservation Monitoring Centre lists this subspecies as having an 'outstanding query over status' rather than 'extinct', and some agencies are carrying out experiments using infrared activated remote cameras in an effort to photograph any tigers. Authorities are even prepared to initiate the move of several thousand people should tiger protection require this.

But until concrete evidence can be produced (expert sightings, pug marks, photographic evidence, attacks on people and animals), the Javan tiger must be considered yet another tiger subspecies which is probably extinct.[4]

In November 2008, an unidentified body of a female mountain hiker was found in Mount Merbabu National Park, Central Java, allegedly died from tiger attack. Villagers who discovered the body have also claimed some tiger sightings in the vicinity. [5]

Another recent sighting occurred in Magetan Regency, East Java, in January 2009. Some villagers claimed to see a tigress with two cubs wandering near a village adjacent to Lawu Mountain. This news immediately triggered mass panic. A subsequent investigation by local authorities found several fresh tracks in the location. However, by that time, those animals were already gone. [6]

See also



Simple English

The Javan tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) is 1 of 3 extinct types of tigers. It lived on the island of Java in Indonesia. It became extinct in the 1970s-1990s. The last known sighting of one was in 1972.

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