The Caspian Tiger – Magnificent, Missing… and on the Rebound?

Photo by Gael Martin |

Caspian Tigers have been missing from the Caspian region in Central Asia for over 40 years, but recent genetic explorations may change this fact.

A century ago, the Caspian region was home to over 100,000 tigers - but due to commercial hunting, that number has dropped to just over 3,500 today. Conversationalists have tried implementing traditional approaches to save the tiger, including imputing millions of dollars into the effort.  Unfortunately, efforts in saving the tiger have failed – thus far.

New research, however, may have revealed a new and exciting way to bring back the Caspian Tiger into its native habitat. Genetic research has discovered that another subspecies of tiger, the Amur, has a negligible genetic difference to the Caspian Tiger. More excitingly, there are over 500 healthy Amur Tigers in zoo collections worldwide, and 15,000 living in the wild.

Additionally, conservational research has discovered that there are over one million square miles of suitable habitat in the Caspian Region for the tiger.  Thus, through introducing the Amur into the Caspian Region, and setting aside large tracts of land for this magnificent creature, a ray of hope may be shining into the previously bleak future of the Caspian Tiger.