A comparison of reproductive parameters of female Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) in the wild and captivity

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-39
Journal / PublicationIntegrative Zoology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


A healthy population of captive Amur tigers might assist recovery of the wild population in Northeast China if individuals were properly prepared and considered suitable for release in the wild. We analyzed the breeding records of 68 female Amur tigers from 1995 to 2010 in the Hengdaohezi Felid Breeding Center of China and compared the reproductive parameters of this population to wild female Amur tigers. We found that the reproductive parameters of the captive population (the age of first parturition, length of gestation and litter survival rate) were not significantly different from those of wild Amur tigers. Differences in birth date and litter size between wild and captive populations may be caused by management protocols for the captive population or insufficient field data from the wild population. Reproductive parameters of females giving birth after losing a litter were similar to parameters of females that did not lose a litter, except for birth date. These results provide no indication of major problems in using captive females for a breeding program for release of cubs into the wild, but additional information is still needed to assess their suitability.

Research Area(s)

  • Amur tiger, Captive condition, Neonatal loss, Panthera tigris altaica, Reproductive parameters