Caspian Tiger

Extinct 1970

Animal Group: Mammal
Regions: Asia
Sub-regions: Southern Asia, Central Asia and Western Asia
Countries: Iran, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

Also known as such names as the Persian tiger, the mazandaran tiger, the turan tiger, and the Hyrcanian tiger, the Caspian tiger was actually one of the largest big cats on the planet. It was instantly recognisable due to its powerful muscular body, and incredibly strong legs. What really made the Caspian tiger stand out however, was the sheer size of its legs as they were much longer than other members of the big cat family, emphasising its sheer size even more, making it incredibly physically imposing to behold. Its paws were, as expected, extremely large, yet its ears were uncharacteristically small and short. Though it had the unmistakable striped tiger markings, its actual colour differed greatly from other species of tiger. The Caspian tiger’s fur was a stunning gold/yellow colour, featuring brown stripes, some dark, some light. Its stomach and chest area was a light white colour with deep yellow stripes. It was also the furriest of all the tiger species, and during the winter to help protect against the cold, its fur would become even thicker. It was a predatory carnivore, feeding on various animals including boars.


The Caspian tiger was located just south of the Caspian Sea (hence the name) and was commonly found in countries such as Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Mongolia, Georgia, Armenia, and even central Asia. Its preferred surroundings were more of a desert environment within close proximity water sources complete with trees, foliage, shrubs, dense grasses and reeds known as tugai.

Reason for extinction

In the 1970’s, the Caspian Tiger was officially declared as extinct. The main reason why this tiger became extinct was all down to its preferred natural habitat. Riverine habitats were also widely occupied by human beings, and surprise, surprise, human beings played a massive part in their extinction. They were hunted, plus they quickly lost their habitat due to human settlement, and add to that the fact that their prey was also hunted and killed by humans, and the Caspian tiger never really stood much of a chance.