While little is known about this subspecies of wild tiger, they perhaps offer one of the greatest hopes for the survival of wild tigers everywhere. Centered in Thailand, this subspecies (technical name Panthera tigris corbetti), can also be found in Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, and southern China. Though estimates are based almost exclusively on secondary evidence such as paw prints and remnants from their kills, it is believed that as many as 1000 to 1500 members Indo-Chinese tigers survive in the wild. (There are about 60 living in zoos throughout Asia and the USA.)

There are two primary reasons why so little is known about the Indo-Chinese tiger. First, the areas in which these tigers live include extremely remote forests and terrain that is not hospital to researchers. In addition, several of the governments in charge of these territories are either unwilling or unable to allow foreign nationals into their countries to conduct detailed studies. Even so, such pioneering felid biologists as Dr. Alan Rabinowitz of the Wildlife Conservation Society have managed to assemble a modicum of crucially important data regarding this subspecies.

Aside from the sheer quantity of surviving wild members of this subspecies, the Indo-Chinese tiger has special prominence because it is thought by some scientists to be the most closely related animal to the original ancestors of all tigers. (The South China tiger is also thought by some to hold this distinction.) These animals, therefore, may posses genetic components that are especially important and unique with respect to the viability of any and all surviving tigers.

Unfortunately, much of the sparse information that is known about this subspecies comprises information about threats to its long-term survival. Specifically, human encroachment into formerly pristine tiger habitat is severe. In certain countries such as Vietnam, this has involves the wholesale destruction of habitat as a consequence of war.

Poaching is also a particularly threatening problem for the Indo-Chinese tiger, promoted to a large extent by the regressive economic situations in several of the countries where wild Indo-Chinese tigers roam. The animals simply offer too large and tempting an incentive on the black market for villagers who might otherwise be able to ignore the animals presence or at least tolerate its cohabitation. Those same economic forces often lead both individuals and governments to plunder the natural resources associated with Indo-Chinese tiger habitat, including forests, water supplies, and the prey on which the tigers feed.

The one bright spot with respect to these threats is Malaysia, where efforts to reduce poaching and smuggling have been exceptionally effective. In addition, the relative political and economic stability in Malaysia has produced an atmosphere more conducive to the cohabitation of tigers and people.

Sumatran, Indo-chinese, Southchinese, Bengal, Siberian, Caspian, Javan, Balinese