Caspian Tiger

Why did the Caspian tiger become extinct? Uhmm, we really only have to look at what is going on today. But how, specifically, did we lose the Caspian tiger? The Caspian tiger did not populate the area densely but in and around water courses and where there was water. The range of the Caspian tiger was approximately that of its prime prey the cervids, examples of which are red and roe deer and the wild boar.

Caspian tiger
Caspian tiger. Photo: Wikipedia. He looks overweight due to his captivity. He looks very heavy. The DNA of the Caspian tiger is very close to that of the Siberian tiger apparently.

The beginning of the end for this tiger was the occupation of the region by Russians. The Russians cultivated the reedbeds to agricultural land (growing cotton), thereby despoiling the tiger's habitat and hunted the tiger and its prey, the wild boar, that helped to support the tiger. Colonisation of the area was facilitated by the river systems.

The tiger was then made vulnerable to the activities of humans because both wanted to use the land where the tiger lived; the water courses, river edges and around lakes etc. And as mentioned people colonised the areas that were next to rivers. The tiger's habitat was taken from it by human occupation and it was also persecuted for sport. In 1948 the last Caspian tiger was shot in Azerbaijan. The last tiger in Iran was shot in 1959.

Couple the loss of habitat the declining and fluctuating prey base, the tiger was gradually made extinct and in the early 1970s the last Caspian tiger was seen.

Another name for the Caspian tiger is the Turanian tiger. Putin appears to be personally involved in trying to resurrect this subspecies of tiger because it's DNA is very similar to that of the extant Siberian tiger and they plan to re-wild the areas where the Caspian tiger used to live with Siberian tigers as I understand it. They would then hope that natural evolution develops the Siberian tiger into a Turanian tiger. Fanciful staff. And typical of Putin to be involved in that. You know: macho stuff.

This is the Caspian tiger range or distribution as was:

View Caspian Tiger Range in a larger map

There is talk about rewilding the Caspian tiger.

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