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Size and weight siberian tiger

AlejoBravo96 Offline
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Bug  ( This post was last modified: 07-05-2023, 08:43 PM by sanjay Edit Reason: Added english translation )

Hola a todos. Quisiera preguntarles si es posible que los datos sobre el tamaño y peso del tigre de amur publicados por la wcs, wwf o el centro de tigres de amur puedan tener inconsistencias o estén alterados a propósito. Digo esto porque parece que la mayoría de los datos tomados se hacen en primavera o verano cuando los tigres disminuyen su masa corporal, en segundo lugar porque la mayoría de los ejemplares analizados rondan los 3-4 años de edad, es decir, están lejos de su plenitud. desarrollo. , en tercer lugar porque la población oficial del censo se establece entre unos 60-70 ejemplares y en cuarto lugar que han sido manipulados como estrategia para restar interés a los furtivos por la zona. Muchas gracias.

English:
Hello everyone. I would like to ask you if it is possible that the data on the size and weight of the amur tiger published by the wcs, wwf or the amur tiger center may have inconsistencies or are altered on purpose. I say this because it seems that most of the data taken is done in spring or summer when tigers decrease their body mass, secondly because most of the specimens analyzed are around 3-4 years of age, that is, they are far from its fullness. development. , thirdly because the official population of the census is established between 60-70 specimens and fourthly that they have been manipulated as a strategy to reduce interest to poachers in the area. Thank you so much.
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India sanjay Offline
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Hey, welcome to the forum. Please use English language as mod of communication so that maximum people can understand and respond. I have added translated version of your question so that other can understand.
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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(07-01-2023, 07:20 AM)AlejoBravo96 Wrote: Hola a todos. Quisiera preguntarles si es posible que los datos sobre el tamaño y peso del tigre de amur publicados por la wcs, wwf o el centro de tigres de amur puedan tener inconsistencias o estén alterados a propósito. Digo esto porque parece que la mayoría de los datos tomados se hacen en primavera o verano cuando los tigres disminuyen su masa corporal, en segundo lugar porque la mayoría de los ejemplares analizados rondan los 3-4 años de edad, es decir, están lejos de su plenitud. desarrollo. , en tercer lugar porque la población oficial del censo se establece entre unos 60-70 ejemplares y en cuarto lugar que han sido manipulados como estrategia para restar interés a los furtivos por la zona. Muchas gracias.

English:
Hello everyone. I would like to ask you if it is possible that the data on the size and weight of the amur tiger published by the wcs, wwf or the amur tiger center may have inconsistencies or are altered on purpose. I say this because it seems that most of the data taken is done in spring or summer when tigers decrease their body mass, secondly because most of the specimens analyzed are around 3-4 years of age, that is, they are far from its fullness. development. , thirdly because the official population of the census is established between 60-70 specimens and fourthly that they have been manipulated as a strategy to reduce interest to poachers in the area. Thank you so much.

Hi AlejoBravo96. Honestly I don't know what language to use, or what you prefer (yo puedo en cualquiera de los dos, ingles o español, me da igual), but as Sanjay said, we use English mainly so more posters can read and understand what we are discussing.

Honestly I have no idea where you got those statements, with all respect it sounds like crazy conspiranoic ideas or secret plans or something like that. I can tell you that this is not the case, not even close.

In the case of the poachers, they don't care if the tiger is huge or small, they only want the tiger and that is all, they are not measuring/weighing the tigers, they just kill them and sold the body and skin. Poachers are not sport hunters, they are just people with no morality (most of the time) that want to kill and earn money. So, you can discard that idea.

There are no inconsistencies between the webpages, remember that most of the websites just repeat the same mantra that is in the people mind (Amur tigers are the biggest) and in fact they don't even focus on the size, but in the ecology, status and conservation objectives. If you check many other pages they not even quote sizes, like the website of Panthera. So, if you want information about size you need to dig in the scientific documents and not just check the websites that focus in conservation and not other morphological issues.

The season and the age that you quote is not correct at all. Many specimens were captured in winter, as is a good moment to follow tigers with the paw prints in the snow and the heat that an animal suffer when sedated is much less, which is good. Also, we have many specimens captured from several ages, not just young ones, but prime and even old ones. So this other idea can be easily discarted if you actually read all the reports about the captures and monitor of these animals. By the way, there is no evidence that tigers diminish they weigh significantly between seasons, remember that tigers do not use fat as isolation for the witner because they don't hybernate, they use they skin coat, fat is just a secondary effect and is not as dramatic as some people want to make you believe.

Finally, who says that the population is about 60-70 specimens? If that will be truth the Amur tiger will be in a highly critical situation. The last report place the population in about 700 specimens, which is great, thanks God.

So, none of those ideas is even based in fact, you can discard them with no problem.

Please check my tables about Amur tigers that I made in 2015:


*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author


Been honest I did not updated them because since that date there has been no other new RELIABLE weight in any scientific document and those from news reports were just estimations and unconfirmed when I asked to the reporters. However, now we have a new 206 kg male tiger that is confirmed and weighed in video, plus other three males (225, 250 and 270 kg) that were apparently weighed in China but that we still need confirmation. Adding the male of 206 kg to the sample the average will increase to 191 kg, not big deal. And if we include the three giant males from China the average should be over 197 kg.


Hope this helps with your questions.
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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( This post was last modified: 07-06-2023, 06:16 AM by GuateGojira )

Hi again @AlejoBravo96 , I see that you created another post about the same topic here: https://wildfact.com/forum/topic-weight-...#pid191750

Maybe it will be better if a moderator can delete it and we can continue with your questions in this same topic, to avoid duplicities.

So, this is what you put there:

"Hola chicos, espero que estén bien. Soy nuevo en este espacio pero estoy feliz de aprender como muchas personas. Me gustaría preguntarte sobre el verdadero peso y tamaño del tigre de Amur, ya que he visto varias publicaciones afirmando que el tamaño y peso de esta subespecie ha disminuido mucho, incluso por debajo de los 200kg. Pero para mi sorpresa, portales como la Sociedad Geográfica Rusa, el programa de conservación del presidente Putin o la Organización Mundial para la Conservación de Grandes Felinos mantienen sus estadísticas de peso en 300 kg. Mi duda surge ya que Russia WSC basa sus estadísticas en una muestra de población de menos de 100 individuos, unos 70 según su web oficial, y además afirman que todos han sido ejemplares en conflicto y en su mayoría casos muy jóvenes. Entonces mi pregunta es la siguiente. ¿Es válido asegurar que el tamaño y el peso del tigre de Amur han disminuido? Teniendo en cuenta que se ignoran casi 700 individuos que no han sido documentados, y de los cuales varios han sido vistos en cámaras trampa que pesan mucho más de 240kg, me atrevería a decir. Me gustaría preguntarte sobre el verdadero peso y tamaño del tigre de Amur, ya que he visto varias publicaciones afirmando que el tamaño y peso de esta subespecie ha disminuido mucho, incluso por debajo de los 200kg. Pero para mi sorpresa, portales como la Sociedad Geográfica Rusa, el programa de conservación del presidente Putin o la Organización Mundial para la Conservación de Grandes Felinos mantienen sus estadísticas de peso en 300 kg. Mi duda surge ya que Russia WSC basa sus medias en una muestra de menos de 100 ejemplares, unos 70 según su web oficial y que todos han sido ejemplares en conflicto y en la mayoría casos muy jóvenes. Entonces mi pregunta es la siguiente. ¿Es válido asegurar que el tamaño y el peso del tigre de Amur han disminuido? Teniendo en cuenta que se ignoran casi 700 ejemplares que no han sido documentados, y de los cuales se han visto varios en cámaras trampa que pesan mucho más de 240kg se atrevería a decir. Espero sus respuestas Gracias. "

I am not going to translate ALLLL that, BUT as I do understand it I am going to answer it, then the other posters will have an idea of what we are talking.

In 1992 a group of scientist from USA and Russia started one of the best conservation projects ever made, The Siberian Tiger Project (STP). They idea was to study, monitor and protect the las population of the Amur tiger, which after the fall of the Soviet Union it was again in great danger with poaching report increasing every year. Part of the project was also to place radiocollard to some specimens so they could study them just like the USA/Nepalese scientist do in Chitwan NP, Nepal between 1973 and 1983. So, they started capturing tigers but in this new terrain they needed new tecniques so it was a new feat to work with this population. In al that time, until 2005, several adult tigers ranging from 3 to 14 years (possible 16) were captured, measured and weighed for the first time and they found that they body size was not bigger than the Bengal tigers captured in Chitwan (Nepal) and Nagarahole (India). This is reported in several scientific publications, I remember at least four of them in this moment, but for some reason all this knowledge has been ignored by the rest of the people. Latter in 2005 a monograph was created that included ALL the details of these animals, including methods used and details of they status. The result were the following average figures:

Males - 176.4 kg, n=18, range: 125 - 205 kg
Females - 117.9 kg, n=13, range: 110 - 129 kg

So I started to dig about the specimens used and I found that some specimens were not in good shape or even sick, so I don't even remember since when I started to make my own tables adding not only the specimens from the STP but also those of the new The Amur Tiger Programme (TATP) which is the continuation of the conservations efforts for this tigers, this time just 100% Russian scientists. Interestingly I found that the new specimens since 2010, they were weighing over the 200 kg mark in the case of the  males, and latter I found that the body mass of the Amur tiger had fluctuated during the present and past century.

In the same monograph from 2005 of the STP, the scientist analized the body mass of the past records of the Amur tiger, you know, all those figures of specimens of 300 - 385 kg, and they found that all those figures, except one, were impossible to confirm, as most of them came from third hand sources, news papers and there could not corroborated by independent sources. The only specimen that kept the doubt was a male of 325 kg recorded by Baikov, but they found that the sorces available contradicted themselves, as the French one quoted the weight but the English one (older edition by two years) did not, so as they could not found the original source in Russian they left them as not confirmed. At the end, they concluded that the old Amur tigers prior 1940-1950, which where when the great tiger-tribulation happened, the specimens were bigger than modern ones, presenting these averages:

Males - 215.3 kg, n=9, range: 163.7 - 254 kg
Females - 137.5 kg, n=2, range: 115 - 160 kg

Of course, I do found other reliable first hand records in litterature and also challenged three female specimens that the monograph said that were unreliable for invalid reasons (frozen carcase of evicerated) and you can check the results in my tables, which are higher average figures.

Also there is another study from the Russian scientist Nicolaev & Yudin (1993) that showed a sample of Amur tigers found dead and the heaviest male in that sample was an specimen of 192 kg, clearly the tigers were slowly recovering from the slaghter thay suffered. If we use only the 8 male specimens that were not in such a bad shape, and including a male of 200 kg reported by Peter Mathiesen in his book, we got an average of 171.3 kg, and for the 4 more or less in good shape females the average was of 113.7 kg.

So, as you can see, there has been a great fluctuation in the body mass of the Amur tiger and now it seems that the increse continue, but for the moment only the male of 206 kg is confirmed and the other big three (225, 250 and 270 kg ) need to be confirmed yet.

Estimations based only in pictures from people and camera traps are not reliable, check this specimen for example:


*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author


This is the male PT-85 "Sergei" captured at 8 years old. Honestly, how much do you think that weighed? This is prime adult male and definitelly and handsome specimen. Many people estimated him at even 250 kg just based in the picture but guess what? This specimen weighed "only" 200 kg, still big, but not the giant that many imagined.

Check this other male:


*This image is copyright of its original author


If you know about Amur tigers maybe you already recognize it, but how much do you think it weighed? Whell this is no other than male PT-20 "Dale", the biggest Amur tiger captured by the STP. This picture is from his first capture, when he weighed 202 kg. At the end of his like this male reached the record of 205 kg, which was the heaviest figure for any modern Amur tiger until TATP started capturing tigers in 2010, reaching figures of up to 212 kg.

Now, I don't what to forget something interesting. While the body mass of the tigers fluctuated very abruptly from 216.5 kg before 1950, to 171 kg in the 80's to up to 190 kg after year 2000, the body size did not changed. In fact, checking the very few real body measurements from tigers taked by Zoologist in Russia (check my tables), you will see that they do not changed at all compared with those from tigers captured by the STP and TATP, the only that changed was the chest girth, which as we know, is synonimous is the body mass. So what happen with the HUGE tigers reported by the old litterature? Well, you will see some examples.

Check this male:

*This image is copyright of its original author


This is a big male by any standard and in fact is the heaviest Amur male tiger accepted by scientists and with good references at 254 kg, but the measurement that the author (Baikov) quote is too large, is of about 350 cm, when this animal probably do not surpassed the 310 cm in straight line. So this is the type of exagerations that happened. 

Now check this even worst example:

*This image is copyright of its original author


This is the famous "Great Van", a tiger was was a killer (or humans or cattle? I don't remember) and that was quoted to measure about 4 meters long! Now check again its picture, it was even smaller than the male of 254 kg. So, this is the problem with the old litterature and the records from it, and sadly this is worst in the Russian side where many of the "total length" measurements are actually skin measurements. 

Even then, this doesn't mean that big tigers do not existed in Russia, check this picture:

*This image is copyright of its original author


Probably the bigger ones in the left side of the picture weighed no less than 230 kg, but sadly we can only speculate.

So, in conclution, there has been a fluctuation in the body mass of the Amur tigers and a decrese in they chest girth, but not in they body length/height. Cammera traps are not a good form to estimate the size of an specimen, specially with no points of reference, and the conservationist websites are not interested in accuracy about morphology, but in the information about ecology and conservation.

Hope this helps with your inquiries.
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peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 07-06-2023, 07:39 AM by peter )

(07-01-2023, 07:20 AM)AlejoBravo96 Wrote: Hola a todos. Quisiera preguntarles si es posible que los datos sobre el tamaño y peso del tigre de amur publicados por la wcs, wwf o el centro de tigres de amur puedan tener inconsistencias o estén alterados a propósito. Digo esto porque parece que la mayoría de los datos tomados se hacen en primavera o verano cuando los tigres disminuyen su masa corporal, en segundo lugar porque la mayoría de los ejemplares analizados rondan los 3-4 años de edad, es decir, están lejos de su plenitud. desarrollo. , en tercer lugar porque la población oficial del censo se establece entre unos 60-70 ejemplares y en cuarto lugar que han sido manipulados como estrategia para restar interés a los furtivos por la zona. Muchas gracias.

English:
Hello everyone. I would like to ask you if it is possible that the data on the size and weight of the amur tiger published by the wcs, wwf or the amur tiger center may have inconsistencies or are altered on purpose. I say this because it seems that most of the data taken is done in spring or summer when tigers decrease their body mass, secondly because most of the specimens analyzed are around 3-4 years of age, that is, they are far from its fullness. development. , thirdly because the official population of the census is established between 60-70 specimens and fourthly that they have been manipulated as a strategy to reduce interest to poachers in the area. Thank you so much.

Hi Alejo,

Welcome to the forum! Hope you'll like your stay.

As to the issues you raised. There's a lot of information about the size of wild, and captive, Amur tigers in the thread 'On the edge of extinction - A - The tiger'. The info on the length and weight of captive Amur tigers is very recent. 

In the period 1992-2010, biologists captured quite a few wild Amur tigers. The method used (referring to the Aldrich footsnare), however, had disadvantages. Some of them were described in 'The Snare for tiger'. For this reason, healthy wild Amur tigers are no longer captured in the Russian Federation. The Russians only capture wild Amur tigers considered as a nuisance. 

In northeastern China, however, wild tigers are captured every now and then. According to Feng Limin, the heaviest actually weighed was 270 kg. Large males in the northern part of the Khabarowski Krai (Russian federation) could compare.

The WCS-table you referred to was published in 2005. The average weight of 10 males captured in the period 1992-2004 was 176,4 kg, whereas females averaged about 120 kg. These averages were used by many forum members. The question is if this average was representative. The answer is we don't know. We do, however, know the samples were smallish. We also know most animals were captured in or near one reserve only. Finally, we know quite a few males were young adults. One of them was in such bad shape, he had to be euthanized later. 

Until a few years ago most of us assumed adult males (6 years and older) ranged between 160-212 kg, but recent information suggests the real range could be 140-270 kg. 

It's not easy to compare today's tigers with those shot a century ago. The reason, again, is a lack of reliable information. The heaviest male accepted by biologists is a male shot by N. Baikov near the Korean border in 1911. That male was 254 kg. The heaviest female was 168 kg. The 'historic' averages (217 kg for males and 137 kg for females) were higher, but the samples on which these averages were based are very small.  

Rumour has it there was an Imperial Hunting Reserve on the border of China, Russia and Korea many moons ago. As only few were allowed to hunt there, the conditions were all but perfect. When the social system in China collapsed, the animals in the reserve spread out. It's quite likely most tigers moved to Manchuria, back then considered as a 'sea of forest'. Most reports about exceptional tigers are from Manchuria. In 1943, a large male was shot near the Sungari river by a member of Jankowski's team. Measured 'over curves', he was 11.6. In a letter to V. Mazak, Jankowski said the tiger, not weighed, was at least 300 kg. In a book published later, he said the tiger was 350 kg. 

There are more reports about tigers of similar size shot in Manchuria and Russia, but the only tiger of that size photographed was the tiger shot in 1943:


*This image is copyright of its original author


In the period 1900-1950, Amur tigers walked the edge. They survived, but the population bottleneck had an effect for quite some time. In the last decades, however, individuals well exceeding the average have been seen occasionally. This is a very recent photograph of a large male known as 'The Beast'. Although not as bulky as the big old brown bear (right), he compared in most respects: 


*This image is copyright of its original author
          

As to averages. 

A healthy population consists of young adults, mature and old animals. Young adults (and so-called 'problem animals') range between 125-185 kg. Old males only seldom exceed 160 kg. Most mature males (6 years and older) range between 160-200 kg. Big males range between 200-225 kg. Males exceeding 225 kg are few, but there are reliable reports about tigers ranging between 250-270 from northeastern China. According to feng Limin, these tigers were actually weighed. 

So what is an 'average' adult male? It depends on the criteria used. Miquelle thought 430 pounds (195 kg) could be close to the mark. If young adults and old males would be included, chances are it's closer to 390-410 pounds (177-186 kg). 

Not as heavy as an average captive male (495 pounds or about 224 kg), but that could change when the conditions improve and the number of tigers increases. Is an average male smaller than a century ago? According to Baikov, most young adults back then ranged between 160-200 kg. In that period of time (see 'The Tiger's Claw'), a male of 575-600 pounds (261-272 kg), like today, was considered as exceptional as well. It is, however, known exceptions in large subspecies are more outspoken than in small subspecies. A report about a tiger exceeding 700 pounds from India, Nepal, Russia or northeastern China, therefore, can't be excluded out of hand. In captivity, healthy males have exceeded that mark more than once.
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AlejoBravo96 Offline
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(07-06-2023, 07:19 AM)peter Wrote:
(07-01-2023, 07:20 AM)AlejoBravo96 Wrote: Hola a todos. Quisiera preguntarles si es posible que los datos sobre el tamaño y peso del tigre de amur publicados por la wcs, wwf o el centro de tigres de amur puedan tener inconsistencias o estén alterados a propósito. Digo esto porque parece que la mayoría de los datos tomados se hacen en primavera o verano cuando los tigres disminuyen su masa corporal, en segundo lugar porque la mayoría de los ejemplares analizados rondan los 3-4 años de edad, es decir, están lejos de su plenitud. desarrollo. , en tercer lugar porque la población oficial del censo se establece entre unos 60-70 ejemplares y en cuarto lugar que han sido manipulados como estrategia para restar interés a los furtivos por la zona. Muchas gracias.

English:
Hello everyone. I would like to ask you if it is possible that the data on the size and weight of the amur tiger published by the wcs, wwf or the amur tiger center may have inconsistencies or are altered on purpose. I say this because it seems that most of the data taken is done in spring or summer when tigers decrease their body mass, secondly because most of the specimens analyzed are around 3-4 years of age, that is, they are far from its fullness. development. , thirdly because the official population of the census is established between 60-70 specimens and fourthly that they have been manipulated as a strategy to reduce interest to poachers in the area. Thank you so much.

Hi Alejo,

Welcome to the forum! Hope you'll like your stay.

As to the issues you raised. There's a lot of information about the size of wild, and captive, Amur tigers in the thread 'On the edge of extinction - A - The tiger'. The info on the length and weight of captive Amur tigers is very recent. 

In the period 1992-2010, biologists captured quite a few wild Amur tigers. The method used (referring to the Aldrich footsnare), however, had disadvantages. Some of them were described in 'The Snare for tiger'. For this reason, healthy wild Amur tigers are no longer captured in the Russian Federation. The Russians only capture wild Amur tigers considered as a nuisance. 

In northeastern China, however, wild tigers are captured every now and then. According to Feng Limin, the heaviest actually weighed was 270 kg. Large males in the northern part of the Khabarowski Krai (Russian federation) could compare.

The WCS-table you referred to was published in 2005. The average weight of 10 males captured in the period 1992-2004 was 176,4 kg, whereas females averaged about 120 kg. These averages were used by many forum members. The question is if this average was representative. The answer is we don't know. We do, however, know the samples were smallish. We also know most animals were captured in or near one reserve only. Finally, we know quite a few males were young adults. One of them was in such bad shape, he had to be euthanized later. 

Until a few years ago most of us assumed adult males (6 years and older) ranged between 160-212 kg, but recent information suggests the real range could be 140-270 kg. 

It's not easy to compare today's tigers with those shot a century ago. The reason, again, is a lack of reliable information. The heaviest male accepted by biologists is a male shot by N. Baikov near the Korean border in 1911. That male was 254 kg. The heaviest female was 168 kg. The 'historic' averages (217 kg for males and 137 kg for females) were higher, but the samples on which these averages were based are very small.  

Rumour has it there was an Imperial Hunting Reserve on the border of China, Russia and Korea many moons ago. As only few were allowed to hunt there, the conditions were all but perfect. When the social system in China collapsed, the animals in the reserve spread out. It's quite likely most tigers moved to Manchuria, back then considered as a 'sea of forest'. Most reports about exceptional tigers are from Manchuria. In 1943, a large male was shot near the Sungari river by a member of Jankowski's team. Measured 'over curves', he was 11.6. In a letter to V. Mazak, Jankowski said the tiger, not weighed, was at least 300 kg. In a book published later, he said the tiger was 350 kg. 

There are more reports about tigers of similar size shot in Manchuria and Russia, but the only tiger of that size photographed was the tiger shot in 1943:


*This image is copyright of its original author


In the period 1900-1950, Amur tigers walked the edge. They survived, but the population bottleneck had an effect for quite some time. In the last decades, however, individuals well exceeding the average have been seen occasionally. This is a very recent photograph of a large male known as 'The Beast'. Although not as bulky as the big old brown bear (right), he compared in most respects: 


*This image is copyright of its original author
          

As to averages. 

A healthy population consists of young adults, mature and old animals. Young adults (and so-called 'problem animals') range between 125-185 kg. Old males only seldom exceed 160 kg. Most mature males (6 years and older) range between 160-200 kg. Big males range between 200-225 kg. Males exceeding 225 kg are few, but there are reliable reports about tigers ranging between 250-270 from northeastern China. According to feng Limin, these tigers were actually weighed. 

So what is an 'average' adult male? It depends on the criteria used. Miquelle thought 430 pounds (195 kg) could be close to the mark. If young adults and old males would be included, chances are it's closer to 390-410 pounds (177-186 kg). 

Not as heavy as an average captive male (495 pounds or about 224 kg), but that could change when the conditions improve and the number of tigers increases. Is an average male smaller than a century ago? According to Baikov, most young adults back then ranged between 160-200 kg. In that period of time (see 'The Tiger's Claw'), a male of 575-600 pounds (261-272 kg), like today, was considered as exceptional as well. It is, however, known exceptions in large subspecies are more outspoken than in small subspecies. A report about a tiger exceeding 700 pounds from India, Nepal, Russia or northeastern China, therefore, can't be excluded out of hand. In captivity, healthy males have exceeded that mark more than once.
Thank you very much Peter for replying. Just like Guajo, you have shown me a lot of information that I was unaware of and I thank you. To tell the truth, the reports that you show me are not as pessimistic as those that I have seen in other places. 
Now this question comes to my mind: I understand that the average weight for African lions is 180kg, that Atlas lions were actually not very different from African ones in terms of weight, which would leave the Bengal tiger as the Big cat capable of comparing itself to the Amur tiger as the largest? On the other hand, I found this publication given by the Federal State Budgetary Institution "Leopard Land" in which they assure that the most accurate historical average for the weight of the amurs is 220kg. In addition, Dr. Dina Matyukhina affirms that the specimens from this reserve do not have excessive fat, which is an argument that critics of Siberian tigers use to reduce the "effective" weight of the animal. So my question is, if you know the sources that institution used to establish that average? And if this publication can be taken into account in the analysis of averages that we have been talking about? Below I will leave the attached link and I also take the opportunity to ask you, please, one of your social networks to follow you. Again thank you very much.
Link: https://leopard-land.ru/about/news/959
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AlejoBravo96 Offline
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(07-05-2023, 08:42 PM)sanjay Wrote: Hey, welcome to the forum. Please use English language as mod of communication so that maximum people can understand and respond. I have added translated version of your question so that other can understand.

Thank you, I'll have it in mind.
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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(07-07-2023, 11:35 AM)AlejoBravo96 Wrote: Thank you very much Peter for replying. Just like Guajo, you have shown me a lot of information that I was unaware of and I thank you. To tell the truth, the reports that you show me are not as pessimistic as those that I have seen in other places. 
Now this question comes to my mind: I understand that the average weight for African lions is 180kg, that Atlas lions were actually not very different from African ones in terms of weight, which would leave the Bengal tiger as the Big cat capable of comparing itself to the Amur tiger as the largest? On the other hand, I found this publication given by the Federal State Budgetary Institution "Leopard Land" in which they assure that the most accurate historical average for the weight of the amurs is 220kg. In addition, Dr. Dina Matyukhina affirms that the specimens from this reserve do not have excessive fat, which is an argument that critics of Siberian tigers use to reduce the "effective" weight of the animal. So my question is, if you know the sources that institution used to establish that average? And if this publication can be taken into account in the analysis of averages that we have been talking about? Below I will leave the attached link and I also take the opportunity to ask you, please, one of your social networks to follow you. Again thank you very much.
Link: https://leopard-land.ru/about/news/959

Let me answer this one.

The lions had an average between 160 - 195 kg depending of the population, so an overall average of about 180 kg seems acceptable. Dr Yamaguchi estimated an average of 175 kg for males at species level. Barbary (Atlas or Berebere) lion was not larger than East African lions based on the evidence, in fact, as this was only a population of the current India/West African lions, is possible that they size was not greater than them. Bengal tigers are of the same size as Amur tigers, there is no evidence that suggest the contrary, both body length, shoulder height, skull size and body mass over time confirm it.

The website that you quote is not accurate when it says that the Amur tiger is the biggest of the cats, in fact, several scientists, including Russian ones, can tell you that. The website just quote the same mantra that many websites repite, with no real justification. The historical average of 220 kg that the website quote may have at least three sources:

1 - Sunquist & Sunquist (2002) published two average figures in the chapter about the tiger. The first one of 221 kg using " more recent measurements", but this is invalid as it use only 4 males from Heptner & Sludskii (1992) and one of them was a captive male estimated (not weighed) at between 250 - 260 kg, not unlikelly based in the huge size of the specimen, but not a real figure after all. The second average that they propuse is of 225 kg, again using specimens from Heptner & Sludskii (1992) althouh this time they use a sample of 9 specimens, some of them marked as "Reliable" by Slaght et al. (2005) but other not, including a figure of 325 kg that we will discuss latter. Interestingly in a second book from 2014 the same authors quote that "today tigers in the Russian Far East average about 500 pounds (225 kg)", which is contradictory as the same book says that "wild Amur tigers today are similar in size to Indian or Bengal tigers. We know this because the Siberian tiger project has been capturing, radio-collaring, and tracking tigers in the Amur region of the Russian Far East for fifteen years and has yet to document any wild tigers weighing more than the largest Bengal tiger." The Sunquist know that no Bengal tiger had an average of over 225 kg, so an average for modern Amur tigers is impossible, based in the fact that the heaviest male weighed (and reported/publihsed) at this moment is of 212 kg.

2 - Vratislav Mazák in his book "Der Tiger" of 1983 (I have the reprint of 2013) calculated an average of 233.4 kg based in 12 males, this is the second highest average calculated for any modern big cat on record (the first one is the figure of 235 kg for Nepalese tigers), it is impresive, but do have problems. Mazák included captive specimens and some of the animals in the list were clasified as "unreliable" by Slagth et al (2005), so the average figure is not reliable. What is insteresting is that the second heaviest male in the list (270 kg) is not show in the list of Slaght et al (2005) nor is found in any of the sources that I could check from old records, so there is a doubt if this was a wild male that we still don't know, or if this was a captive male recorded by him.


3 - Slagth et al (2005) is not a simple quote as you may think, this is the short quote from the chapter 6 of the monograph of the Siberian Tiger Project, the main author is Jonathan C. Slaght, Wildlife Biologist & Author, but the document also include the colaboration of other 10 tiger experts: Dale Miquelle, John Goodrich, Igor Nikolaev, Eugene Smirnov, Bart Schleyer, K. Traylor-Holzer, S. Christie, E. Arzhanova, Dave L. Smith and Ullas Karanth. This document analized, for the first time, all the weights published for Amur tigers in litterature, and although is possible that they could not found them all, they do reach a good sample and they analize they reliability. The result is that when we did check the source and reliability of the records, many of them are not based in real figures, or are just figures from news reports and impossible to confirm. So they classified the records in 4 categories, only the two first are reliable, while the other two are not and unconfirmed. The result of they analysis is that from 44 records only 9 were classified as "Reliable" while the other were not reliable, estimations or just impossible to confirm. The average calculated from the 9 males is of 215.3 kg, which is good and reflect the good size that the historic males had previous to the almoust extermination that they suffered at the middle of the 19 century. Of course the analysis is not out of questions, for example some specimens were classified as "unreliable" not because the source was bad, but because they were "evicerated" or because they could not found the original source, and that, from my point of view, is incorrect. The big male of 325 kg accepted by Dr Sunquist in his book of 2002 "Wild Cats of the World" was classified as unreliable because they could not found the original in Russian, and the English and French versions had discrepancies in the figure or simple do not had it.

So, these are the possible sources for the average of 220 kg that the webpage that you presented here is quoting. In my new document about the Amur tiger I included another male of 250 kg that was discarted as "unreliable" just because it was "evicerated" but that reached all the other requirements that made him a "средненадежный = Generaly reliable" record, so the new average figure for the historic males reliable recorded that I got was of 219.5 kg (n=11), which is very big by any standard.
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