Saturday, August 8, 2009

Malayan Tiger

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Flag of Malaysia

Coat of arm of malaysia

This is the special series of Flora and Fauna sections for Independence Month. Before this we have see the National Flower of the country, today we will see the National Animal of Malaysia and also one of the symbol in our Coat of Arm, Tiger. Officially, it is known as the Malayan Tiger.


The Malayan Tiger also known in Malay as Harimau Belang. The scientific name for the species is Panthera tigris jacksoni. It is not considered as a sub-species in its own right until 2004. Recent counts showed there are 600-800 Malayan tigers in the wild, making it the most common tiger subspecies other than the Bengal and perhaps also the Indochinese tigers.

It is, nevertheless, still an endangered sub-species.


Malayan Tiger

The Malayan tiger, along with the Sumatran tiger, is perhaps the smallest extant subspecies of tiger. Its stripe pattern is similar to the Indochinese tiger but its size is closer to the Sumatran tigers, with an average weight of 120 kg for adult males and 100 kg for females. Male Malayan tigers measures around 237cm in length from head to tail and female Malayan tigress around 200cm in length.


Malayan tigers prey on sambar deer, barking deer, wild boar and livestock. Tigers in Taman Negara also prey on sun bear. Whether their principal prey includes gaur and tapir is unknown. Tigers occur at very low densities 1.1-1.98 tigers per 100km² in the rainforest as a result of low prey densities, thus in order to maintain viable tiger populations of minimum of 6 breeding females, reserves need to be larger than 1000km².

Biological/ecological research on the Malayan tiger is still in infancy. For example, information on dietary preference, morphological measurements, demographic parameters, social structure, communication, home range sizes, dispersal capabilities are all lacking



It is usually found in the southern and central part of Peninsular of Malaysia.


The Malayan tiger is depicted in the coat of arms of Malaysia, symbolising the government and appears in various heraldry of Malaysian institutions such as Maybank, Proton and FAM. It symbolizes bravery and strength to Malaysians. The tiger has been given various nicknames by Malaysians, notably "Pak Belang," which literally means "Uncle Stripes."

Pak Belang features prominently in folklore as one of Sang Kancil's ("The Mouse Deer's") adversaries.

Malayan Bank
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