The Malayan Tigers natural habitat is in the Malayan Peninsula of Southeast Asia, particularly in the southern and central parts of this beautiful country. Its scientific name is Panthera tigris jacksoni.. The difference in its scientific names is due to the country of its origins wanting to be included in its official name. Despite its being one of the most prolific of the tiger subspecies, the Malayan Tiger is still endangered.
Malayan tigers were classified as Indochinese tigers until DNA testing in 2004 showed them to be a separate subspecies. The Malayan Tiger is one of the smallest tigers of all of the subspecies. Adults only weigh around 120 kilograms, or 260 pounds, while females are slightly lighter at an average 100 kilograms (equivalent to about 220 pounds).
Logging operations and road development pose big threats to Malayan tiger habitats. Conversion of forests to agriculture or commercial plantations results in frequent encounters between tigers and livestock.
The cost to farmers can be high—livestock loss due to tigers is estimated to have cost more than $400,000 from 1993–2003 in Terengganu, one of the poorest areas in Peninsular Malaysia. In retaliation, tigers are often killed by authorities or angry villagers. Tigers killed as “conflict” animals often end up on the black market, creating a link between human-tiger conflict and poaching.
Poachers have infiltrated the forests of Malaysia and plundered its wildlife, including tigers. Malaysian wildlife is in high demand in Asian markets for use as folk medicine and as a sign of wealth.
The Malayan Tiger lives for between 15 and 20 years. They are mammals, which means that they give birth to live young after a gestation period of about 3.5 months. Usually, about three or four cubs are born. Tigers are solitary creatures, and will not usually be found hunting or living in packs. The cubs will stay with their mother until they are about 18 months old, when they will break away and live independently.