The South China Tiger Was Declared to Be an Enemy of the People by Mao
South China Tiger
The South China Tiger, Panthera tigris amoyensis, is one of the smallest subspecies of Tiger. Other names for this creature are the Amor Tiger and the Xiamen Tiger.
A fully grown Male South China Tiger will weigh about 150 Kg (330 lb). this is a bit over half the size of the Siberian Tiger which is the biggest Tiger subspecies. Females are smaller.
An Enemy of The People
In 1959, as part of the Great jump Forward, Chairman Mao Zedong declared this animal to be an enemy of the people. Before this there were over 4000 of these Tigers in the wild. Most were killed.
In 1982, the Chinese Government reversed its Tiger killing policy, and they are now protected.
The wild population of the South China Tiger is estimated to be about 20, but the accuracy of this calculate is very doubtful. The captive position of this scarce subspecies is more hopeful. There are probably enough Tigers in zoos and similar places to save the subspecies.
There is a joint project involving both China and South Africa. Captive South China Tigers are being bred in South Africa, and their cubs trained to hunt and survive in the wild. Fortunately, Tigers are reasonably easy to copy in captivity, and the semi wild animals in the project are breeding. They will be used to repopulate some of its former range in China.
Although it appears possible to save this subspecies, there are a lot of problems.
Much of its habitat has been destroyed, and its prey animals greatly reduced in numbers.
Tiger parts are used in traditional Chinese medicine. The Chinese Government is attempting to stop the trade in Tiger parts, but it is difficult. The possible returns to Tiger poachers are very high, and already the harsh punishments given to those caught committing crimes in China have not made its Tigers safe.
without of Genetic varied
The current population of this subspecies is very small, and they are descended from a very small number of animals. This method that the gene pool is frighteningly small.
When there were more of these animals in the wild, they had the reputation of being more likely to become man eaters than any other kind of tiger. This behaviour, if it is resumed, will not tend to endear this creature to the local Human population.