Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Conservation Status

With as few as 4,000 wild tigers remaining globally (2015), the IUCN1 Red List of Threatened Species classifies the South China and the Sumatran tiger subspecies as ‘Critically Endangered’, which means they face ‘an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild’. The other remaining subspecies of tiger are listed as ‘Endangered’ and therefore face a ‘very high risk of extinction in the wild’.

Three of the nine tiger subspecies have gone extinct in the last 70 years - the Caspian, Javan and Bali tigers. The South China tiger will most likely be the next subspecies to be declared extinct.

1International Union for Conservation of Nature


There may have been as many as 100,000 tigers at the turns of the 20th Century, but their number had already halved by the 1940s. By 2010, the Year of the Tiger, an estimated 3,500 remained, some 1,400 of those in India.


Tigers are listed on CITES Appendix I (which includes species that are threatened with extinction and that are or may be affected by international trade). Commercial international trade in species listed on Appendix I is prohibited.

2The United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) is an international agreement between governments which provides varying levels of protection for species that are or may be in danger of extinction from international trade.
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