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Malayan Tiger
Malayan Tiger in the water.
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. tigris
Subspecies: P. t. malayensis
Trinomial name
Panthera tigris malayensis
Luo et al., 2004
Range map

The Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris malayensis, Malay: Harimau Belang), found in the southern and central parts of the Malay Peninsula[1], is a subspecies of tiger found in Thailand and Malaysia. Until 2004, it was not considered a subspecies in its own right. The new classification came about after a study by Luo S-J et al. from the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, part of the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Recent counts showed there are 600-800 Malayan tigers in the wild, making it the most common tiger subspecies other than the Bengal and perhaps also the Indochinese tigers. It is, nevertheless, still an endangered sub-species.

Contents

Physical characteristics

The Malayan tiger, along with the Sumatran tiger, is perhaps the smallest extant subspecies of tiger. Its stripe pattern is similar to the Indochinese tiger but its size is closer to the Sumatran tigers, with an average weight of 120 kg for adult males and 100 kg for females.[2] Male Malayan tigers measures around 237 cm in length from head to tail and female Malayan tigress around 200 cm in length.

Diet and biology

Malayan tigers prey on sambar deer, barking deer, wild boar and livestock. Tigers in Taman Negara also prey on sun bear. Whether their principal prey includes gaur and tapir is unknown. Tigers occur at very low densities 1.1-1.98 tigers per 100 km² in the rainforest as a result of low prey densities, thus in order to maintain viable tiger populations of minimum of 6 breeding females, reserves need to be larger than 1000 km². Biological/ecological research on the Malayan tiger is still in infancy. For example, information on dietary preference, morphological measurements, demographic parameters, social structure, communication, home range sizes, dispersal capabilities are all lacking.[3]

Captive

A genetic analysis of the phylogeny of tigers in 2004 split the IndoChinese subspecies into two distinct subspecies: the IndoChinese tiger and the Malayan tiger and the authors argue that the captive populations for these two subspecies should be managed in a similar way to the other recognized subspecies but it is unclear how this information will be used by the zoo community.

Naming controversy

When the Malayan tiger was accepted as a sub-species of the tiger family, the news was warmly received in Malaysia. However, there was soon debate over the scientific naming of the Malayan tiger. Researchers proposed a name to recognize the work by Peter Jackson (zoologist) with big cats: Panthera tigris jacksoni.

However, the Malaysian Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria (MAZPA) and the Government of Malaysia protested, arguing that Malaysia should have been consulted over the naming of its national icon.[4] Malaysia holds that the naming should reflect the geographical region, Malaysia. In Malaysia, therefore, the Malayan tiger is known as Panthera tigris malayensis.

Malaysian national icon

The Malayan tiger is depicted in the coat of arms of Malaysia, symbolising the government and appears in various heraldry of Malaysian institutions such as Maybank, Proton and FAM. It symbolizes bravery and strength to Malaysians. The tiger has been given various nicknames by Malaysians, notably "Pak Belang," which literally means "Uncle Stripes." Pak Belang features prominently in folklore as one of Sang Kancil's ("The Mouse Deer's") adversaries.

See also national personification

References

General references
  • Luo SJ, Kim JH, Johnson WE, Walt Jvd, Martenson J, et al. (2004) Phylogeography and Genetic Ancestry of Tigers (Panthera tigris). PLoS Biol 2(12): e442. Available online

External links

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Malayan Tiger
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. tigris
Subspecies: P. t. jacksoni
Trinomial name
Panthera tigris jacksoni
Luo et al., 2004
File:P tigris
Range map

The Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni, Malay: Harimau Belang), found in the southern and central parts of the Malay Peninsula,[1] is a subspecies of tiger found in Thailand and Malaysia. Until 2004, it was not considered a subspecies in its own right. The new classification came about after a study by Luo S-J et al. from the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, part of the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Recent counts showed there are 600–800 Malayan tigers in the wild, making it the most common tiger subspecies other than the Bengal and perhaps also the Indochinese tigers. It is, nevertheless, still an endangered sub-species.

Contents

Physical characteristics

The Malayan tiger, along with the Sumatran tiger, is perhaps the smallest extant subspecies of tiger. Its stripe pattern is similar to the Indochinese tiger but its size is closer to the Sumatran tigers, with an average weight of 120 kg for adult males and 100 kg for females.[2] Male Malayan tigers measures around 237 cm in length from head to tail and female Malayan tigress around 200 cm in length.

Diet and biology

Malayan tigers prey on sambar deer, barking deer, wild boar, bearded pigs and serow. Tigers in Taman Negara also prey on sun bear and elephant calves. Whether their principal prey includes adult gaur and tapir is unknown. Occasionally, livestock is also taken; however, tiger predation reduces the numbers of wild boar which can become a serious pest in plantations and other croplands. Studies indicate that in areas where large predators (tigers and leopards) are extinct, wild pigs are over 10 times more numerous than in areas where tigers are still present.[3][4][5]

Tigers occur at very low densities 1.1-1.98 tigers per 100 km² in the rainforest as a result of low prey densities, thus in order to maintain viable tiger populations of minimum of 6 breeding females, reserves need to be larger than 1000 km². Biological/ecological research on the Malayan tiger is still in infancy. For example, information on dietary preference, morphological measurements, demographic parameters, social structure, communication, home range sizes, dispersal capabilities are all lacking.[6]

Captive

A genetic analysis of the phylogeny of tigers in 2004 split the Indochinese subspecies into two distinct subspecies: the Indochinese tiger and the Malayan tiger and the authors argue that the captive populations for these two subspecies should be managed in a similar way to the other recognized subspecies but it is unclear how this information will be used by the zoo community.

Naming controversy

When the Malayan tiger was accepted as a subspecies of the tiger family, the news was warmly received in Malaysia. However, there was soon debate over the scientific naming of the Malayan tiger. The formal description of the subspecies gave it the name Panthera tigris jacksoni in honour of tiger specialist Peter Jackson.[7]

However, the Malaysian Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria (MAZPA) and the Government of Malaysia protested, arguing that Malaysia should have been consulted over the naming of its national icon.[8] Malaysia holds that the naming should reflect the geographical region, Malaysia. In Malaysia, therefore, the Malayan tiger is known as Panthera tigris malayensis.

Malaysian national icon

The Malayan tiger is depicted in the coat of arms of Malaysia, symbolising the government and appears in various heraldry of Malaysian institutions such as Maybank, Proton and FAM. It symbolizes bravery and strength to Malaysians. The tiger has been given various nicknames by Malaysians, notably "Pak Belang," which literally means "Uncle Stripes." Pak Belang features prominently in folklore as one of the adversaries of Sang Kancil (The mouse deer).

The Malayan tiger were featured on Special Service Group insignia.

References

  1. ^ http://www.savethetigerfund.org/Content/NavigationMenu2/Community/TigerSubspecies/MalayanTiger/default.htm
  2. ^ WWF - Malayan tiger
  3. ^ Yong, D.L., Lee P.Y-H, Ang, A., & Tan, K. H., 2010: The status on Singapore island of the Eurasian wild pig Sus scrofa (Mammalia: Suidae). Nature in Singapore 2010 3: 227–237 pdf
  4. ^ Ickes, K., Paciorek, C.J. & Thomas, S.C., 2005: Impacts of nest construction by native pigs (Sus scrofa) on lowland Malaysian rain forest saplings. Ecology, 86(6), pp. 1540–1547. pdf
  5. ^ Ickes, K. (2001), Hyper-abundance of Native Wild Pigs (Sus scrofa) in a Lowland Dipterocarp Rain Forest of Peninsular Malaysia. Biotropica, 33: 682–690. [1]
  6. ^ Save The Tiger Fund: Malayan Tiger
  7. ^ IUCN Tiger Specialist Peter Jackson Earns His Stripes. IUCN. Posted: 07 June 2005.
  8. ^ Malayan tiger may get new name NST, 4 Nov 2004
General references
  • Luo SJ, Kim JH, Johnson WE, Walt Jvd, Martenson J, et al. (2004) Phylogeography and Genetic Ancestry of Tigers (Panthera tigris). PLoS Biol 2(12): e442. Available online

External links


Simple English

Malayan Tiger
File:Malayan Tiger
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. tigris
Subspecies: P. t. jacksoni
Trinomial name
Panthera tigris jacksoni
Luo et al., 2004
File:P tigris
Range map

The Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) is a new subspecies of the tiger that was discovered in 2004. People used to think they were Indo-Chinese tigers, But now they have their own subspecies. They have the same length and weight as the Indo-Chinese tiger. They live in southern Malaysia and they are an endangered species.


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