ARKive, an initiative of the UK charity Wildscreen, aims to create an audio-visual library of all animal and plant species on earth. The pictures, video and descriptions are extremely well done. Below are some examples:
Subspecies: Siberian tiger (P. t. altaica) classified as Critically Endangered (CR) and listed on Appendix I of CITES; Amoy tiger (P. t. amoyensis) classified as Critically Endangered (CR) and listed on Appendix I of CITES; Sumatran tiger (P. t. sumatrae) classified as Critically Endangered (CR); Indochinese tiger (P. t. corbetti) and the Bengal tiger (P. t. tigris) are not entered on the IUCN Red List (1); The Bali (P. t. balica), Javan (P. t. sondaica) and Caspian tigers (P. t. virgata) are now extinct (9). These subspecies’ classifications are taken from the 2002 Red List – they are not listed on the 2004 Red List as they are under review (10).
One of the largest of the ‘big cats’, the tiger is an instantly recognisable and emotive animal. Nine different subspecies are recognised, three of which became extinct in the latter part of the 20th Century; the Bali (P. t. balica), Javan (P. t. sondaica) and Caspian tigers (P. t. virgata). The remaining subspecies are the Siberian (P. t. altaica), South China (P. t. amoyensis), Sumatran (P. t. sumatrae), Indochinese (P. t. corbetti), Malayan (P. t. jacksoni)and Bengal tigers (P. t. tigris) (3) (10). The different subspecies vary in their body size, coat colour and markings, with the Sumatran tiger being the smallest and darkest, whilst the Siberian tiger is the largest and palest subspecies (4). Markings and coat colour can overlap between subspecies and are not often used to differentiate (10). Generally however, tigers have a reddish-orange to yellow-ochre coat with a white belly and black markings, the pattern of which is unique (2). Like the other big cats, tigers are well adapted for hunting large prey and have short, heavily-muscled forelimbs and long, sharp, retractable claws (2). Extreme colour varieties are occasionally seen in the wild, such as whitish-grey tigers with chocolate stripes which are the result of two tigers with a recessive gene breeding (2). However, whilst this colour variation is popular with zoos, it is not of conservation significance (2).
Grevy’s zebra is the largest of the equids (a group that includes horses, asses and zebras) (4). It possesses the same body shape as other equids with a long head and neck and slender legs resting on a single digit in the form of a hoof (5). The sleek coat is patterned with black and white vertical stripes that are much narrower than those of the plains zebra (Equus burchelli) and persist until above the hind legs where a chevron pattern occurs (6). The horizontal stripes on the legs remain distinct all the way down to the hooves, and the tall, upright mane is also striped in a pattern that continues on from the neck. A wide black stripe along the back is very distinctive and is bordered by white on the rump. The muzzle is a tan colour with white edges, and the large, rounded ears have one thick black stripe on the back with white tips (2).