Caspian Tiger

Extinct circa 1959Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan

"The Caspian Tiger,(Panthera tigris virgata) genetic roots span over a million years . . . The Caspian Tiger and the Amur or Siberian Tiger began in China and spread westward along the Silk Road. Sometime later these magnificent tigers expanded their territory by moving northward and eastward into what is known as the former Soviet Union . . .  [T]he Caspian Tiger inhabited the inland drainage basins of Western and Eastern Asia among the reeds and waterways hunting their prey hidden by lush vegetation . . . Unfortunately, the riverside vegetation was cleared for cultivation and in-habitation, thus the Caspian Tiger was deprived of its habitat and its prey in the 1930s. Cotton fields were planted and the rivers were used for irrigation. Soon, the Caspian Tiger became an alien in its own territory and was targeted and hunted down as a menace to human settlements and a threat to livestock. The Caspian Tiger pelt was prized for its beauty and fetched a hefty price. A further environmental insult occurred when the river vegetation and reeds were cleared to eradicate malaria on the Southern shores of the Caspian Sea in the 1950s and 1960s. The last reported Caspian Tiger sighting happened in the 1960s and 1970s."

Image: Captive Caspian Tiger, Berlin Zoo, 1899.

Mary Anne Simpson, "Caspian Tiger Extinct But Lives On In Siberian Tiger," Phys.org, January 21, 2009, https://phys.org/news/2009-01-caspian-tiger-extinct-siberian.html.