The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest cat species, most recognizable for its pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with a lighter underside. The species is classified in the genus Panthera with the lion, leopard, jaguar, and snow leopard. It is an apex predator, primarily preying on ungulates such as deer and bovids. It is territorial and generally a solitary but social predator, often requiring large contiguous areas of habitat that support its prey requirements. This, coupled with the fact that it is indigenous to some of the more densely populated places on Earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans. Tiger populations once ranged widely across Asia, from the Black Sea in the west, to the Indian Ocean in the south, and from Kolyma to Sumatra in the east. Over the past 100 years, the species has lost 93% of its historic range, and has been extirpated from Western and Central Asia, from the islands of Java and Bali, and from large areas of Southeast, South, and East Asia. Today, it ranges from the Siberian taiga to open grasslands and tropical mangrove swamps, and has been classified as endangered in the IUCN Red List. Major reasons for population decline include habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation and poaching. The extent of area inhabited by tigers is estimated at less than 1,184,911 km2 (457,497 sq mi), a 41% decline from the area estimated in the mid-1990s.
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