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Caspian tiger

December 03, 2017

Caspian tiger

The Caspian tiger was also called Hyrcanian tiger, Turanian tiger, and Babre Mazandaran, depending on the region of its occurrence.

Until the end of the 20th century, it inhabited from eastern Turkey, Mesopotamia, the Caucasus, west, and south of the Caspian Sea in Iran through Central Asia to Xinjiang in western China.

In the early 1970s, biologists searched several years for the Caspian tigers in the uninhabited areas but did not find any evidence of their presence.


The main background color of the Caspian tiger's pelage varied and was generally brighter and more uniform than that of the Siberian tiger.

The stripes were narrower, fuller and more closely set than those of tigers from Manchuria.

The color of its stripes was a mixture of brown or cinnamon shades.
Pure black patterns were invariably found only on head, neck, the middle of the back and at the tip of the tail.

Comparative illustration of the stripe patterns on the tails of Caspian (left) and Siberian tigers (right)


It was ranked among the largest cats that ever existed,
and described as being intermediate in size between Siberian and Bengal tigers.

Males body length: 270–295 cm (106–116 in)
weight: 170–240 kg (370–530 lb)

Females body length: 240–260 cm (94–102 in)
Weight: 85–135 kg (187–298 lb) 

Some individuals attained exceptional sizes.


Comparative illustration of the stripe patterns on the tails of Caspian (left) and Siberian tigers (right)


Its extirpation was caused by several factors:

  • Tigers were killed by large parties of sportsmen and military personnel who also hunted tiger prey species such as wild pigs. 
  • The extensive reedbeds of tiger habitat were increasingly converted to cropland for planting cotton and other crops that grew well in the rich silt along rivers.
  • Tigers were already vulnerable due to the restricted nature of their distribution, having been confined to watercourses within the large expanses of the desert environment.



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