The Javan tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) is an extinct tiger subspecies. The tiger died out in 1970s. Like Bali and Sumatran tiger, Javan tigers also lived on the islands of Indonesia. The last of the wild Javan tigers was seen in 1976 in the Meru Betiri National Park. In the National Museum of Natural History, Netherlands two skins of Javan tigers are on display. They were shot in 1821 in the western Java.
The Javan tiger was small as compared to the mainland tigers. The stripes on the coat were not only thin but also greater in number than those in Sumatran tiger.
They had relatively long nose and which led scientists to believe that Javan tiger was a separate species Panthera sondaica.
Adult males grew to a length of about 248 cm (98 in) and weighed as much as 100 – 141 kg (220 – 311 lb).
Males were larger than females. The adult female averaged 75 and 115 kg (165 and 254 lb) in weight.
Panthera tigris sondaica
In the 18th century the Javan tiger was widespread across Java. As the human population grew in numbers they did not only destroy tigers’ habitats but also killed them. In the mid-20th century many Javan tigers began living on forested and mountainous habitats. Their habitats were found at an altitude of 1,192 m (3,911 ft) above the sea level.
Feeding Ecology and Diet
Javan tigers used to eat large animals such as wild boar, water fowl, reptiles, banteng, and rusa deer. However tigers mostly rely on rusa deer.
We did not know about the lifespan or the reproductive biology of Javan tigers. Few tigers were bred in captivity but they were shut down during World War II.
Possible Reasons of Extinction
Javan tigers had become extinct due to habitat degradation. The people of Javan island cleared large natural forests for cultivation in 1900s. They cut down natural forests to plant rubber and coffee during World War II.
The prey of Javan tigers also died of disease. Many rusa deer became the victims in 1960s. Humans occupied lands and converted it into fields at the expanse of destroying tiger’s habitat.
Bali tiger was the first tiger which that went extinct sadly though no steps were taken to save the other subspecies from extinction. It was soon followed by the extinction of Javan tiger and Caspian tiger. We must realize that tigers deserve to live on earth inasmuch as we do.