Bali Tiger - Extinct in 1937
The Bali Tiger, Panthera tigris balica, was the smallest subspecies of the tiger Panthera tigris. Its weight did not exceed 100 kg. This subspecies lived on the Indonesian Island of Bali. As far as it is known its habitat was restricted to the shoreline region of the western part of the island.
The last Bali tigers lived in the north-western tip of the island. The last well-documented specimen was killed there at Sumbar Kima, West Bali, on 27th September 1937.
An exact date of extinction is unknown as throughout the 1940s reports persisted that tigers still lived on the island. These came from people considered to be reliable and they continued into the 1950s, though with a reducing frequency. One instance occurred in 1952 when a Dutch forestry officer reported seeing a Bali tiger. There have even sightings continued to surface in the 1970s. One suspected sighting was in a western reserve in 1970 and the Balinese Forestry workers reported another in 1972. Despite these positive reports it is almost certain that the Bali tiger is extinct and little chance it will ever be rediscovered. The remaining forest areas on Bali are simply no longer large enough to provide a tiger with the required shelter and food source.
Illustration: Courtesy of Rob Sheridan
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Photo credit: National Gallery of Art
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Courtesy of Jose Chaparro/University of Florida