The Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is the largest, heaviest and most northernmost of the remaining Tiger sub-species and has the lowest genetic diversity of all the remaining sub-species. Male and female Siberian tigers can weigh up to 320kg and 160kg, respectively, and have a head-tail length of 3.3m for males and 2.6m for females. The Siberian tiger is currently listed as ‘Endangered’ by the ICUN, since it was downgraded from its ‘critically endangered’ listing in 2008. There is thought to be less than 400 individuals remaining throughout the entire world. There is no evidence of the Siberian tiger ever establishing feral, non-naturally occurring, populations outside of their native geographical range. Siberian tigers are not known to have caused any significant impacts to the environment and/or agriculture, however it is known that when their natural prey source becomes scarce, Siberian tigers will turn to hunting domestic livestock as a source of prey.
The Technical Assessmant Panel (TAP)
assessed Siberian tiger as being highly dangerous to
humans, having a low establishment risk and a moderate
consequence of establishment (risk that an established population would cause
harm) if they established in Tasmania. Consequently, the TAP assessment concluded that the risk posed by importing Siberian tiger into Tasmania is serious.
Following the initial risk assessment, the Department considers permitting the importation of animals assessed as ‘serious risk’ into the State as long as appropriate mitigation measures, enforced through a wildlife exhibition licence, can be identified and applied.
Mitigation options to reduce the risk associated with importing Siberian tiger include:
Limiting importation to registered wildlife parks or zoos to ensure the holding facility meets the stringent keeping standards Tasmania applies to all institutions.
Requiring any wildlife park or zoo to submit a Siberian tiger species management plan (including enclosure details) prior to import.
The wildlife exhibition facility can clearly demonstrate they have proficient keepers for that particular species.
Siberian Tiger Risk Assessment (145Kb)