The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest of all the wild cat species, yet the tiger is also the most endangered and some subspecies have already gone extinct.

Tiger (Panthera tigris) Unique Facts

~ Largest of the wild cat species ~

~ Unique coat pattern consisting only of stripes ~

~ All tiger subspecies are Endangered or Critically Endangered ~

Tiger (Panthera Tigris)
Tiger (Panthera Tigris)
Image by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Image Source

Tiger (Panthera tigris) Classification

Tigers belong to the big cat genus Panthera and the full taxonomy, scientific classification or higher classification of the tiger species (Panthera tigris) is as follows:

Kingdom: Animalia (animals)

Phylum: Chordata (vertebrates)

Class: Mammalia (mammals)

Order: Carnivora (carnivores)

Suborder: Feliformia (cat-like)

Family: Felidae (cats)

Subfamily: Pantherinae (big cats)

Genus: Panthera (big cats)

Species: Panthera tigris (tiger)

Bengal Tiger Ranthambhor National Park
Bengal Tiger Ranthambhor National Park
© Jagdeep Rajput /

View trips including Ranthambhor National Park or Bandhavgarch National Park in India to look for tigers (small groups and responsible travel).

Tiger (Panthera tigris) Lower Classifications (subspecies)

There are six extant (still in existence) subspecies of tiger and three subspecies that have already gone extinct:

Extinct (EX)

  • Bali Tiger Panthera tigris balica
  • Javan Tiger Panthera tigris sondaica
  • Caspian Tiger Panthera tigris virgata

Critically Endangered (CR)

  • South China Tiger Panthera tigris amoyensis
  • Malayan Tiger Panthera tigris jacksoni
  • Sumatran Tiger Panthera tigris sumatrae

Endangered (EN)

  • Amur Tiger Panthera tigris altaica
  • Indochinese Tiger Panthera tigris corbetti
  • Bengal Tiger Panthera tigris tigris

Reference: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. <>. Panthera tigris. 7 Feb 2017.

Tigers of the World, Second Edition: The Science, Politics and Conservation of Panthera tigris
Tigers of the World 2010
Eds Tilson and Nyhus
(academic interest)

Wild Cat Books

Tigers Forever by Winter and Guynup
Tigers Forever 2013
By Steve Winter & Sharon Guynup
(general interest)
The Vanishing Tiger 2003
The Vanishing Tiger 2003
by V.R. Sinha
(general interest)

More Books about Wild Cats...

Tiger (Panthera tigris) Conservation

The following global organizations are all fighting to conserve our iconic tigers amidst ever growing human populations and illicit poaching:

Tiger (Panthera tigris) Facts and Information

The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on tigers:

Wild Cat Posters

Wild Cats of India Poster
Wild Cats of India by Ronan Chakravarty, India
View Wild Cats of India Poster

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