Tigers are solitary creatures; they like to spend most of their time alone, roaming their massive territories looking for food. According to the San Diego Zoo, the Siberian tiger has the largest range. Its territory can be more than 4,000 square miles (10,000 square kilometers). Tigers mark their territory by scratching marks into trees with their claws. Tigers are the largest felines in the world. Many cultures consider the tiger to be a symbol of strength and courage. However, because hunting them is also a sign of bravery in some cultures, tigers are endangered; no more than 3,200 tigers are left in the wild.
There are two possible answers for this question – one the number of tigers in the wild only and the other comprising of all tigers including the one in captivity. It is estimated that there are around 10,000 captive tigers in the world 5000 of which are in the US alone (the world wildlife fund believes that most of these are privately owned). Many of the captive tigers are not considered to have much value in terms of conservation because of indiscriminate crossbreeding between different subspecies.
According to the WWF there are “as few as” 3200 wild tigers left. The exact number is not known.
That’s an estimate of all tigers across all subspecies. If you look at each of the subspecies, you’ll get an idea of the real and immediate danger of extinction tigers face. Three subspecies, out of the nine known to us, have already become extinct. Bali tigers in the 1940s, Caspian tigers in the 1970s and Javan tigers sometime in the 1980s. The South China tiger may also be extinct as there has been no confirmed sighting of one for the last 25 years.
Bengal, Indochinese, Sumatran, Malay and Siberian subspecies constitute most of the surviving tiger population.