Panthera tigris sondaica Temminck, 1844:43

Javan tiger



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Panthera tigris sondaica (Fitzinger, 1868) [incorrect author; used by Anonymous, 1964]; Panthera tigris sandaica Temminck, 1844:43 [orth. error; used by Scott, 1965]


Conservation Status


Last record: before 1979

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


The Javan Tiger is believed to have become extinct some time during the early-to-mid 1980's, as the last sign of their existence was the pug marks of three individuals in 1976 (1979?) [Seidenstiker et. al., 1980], and no more than 5 tigers were hypothesized to exist.

As with many species claims of continued sightings exist. However given the lack evidence for its continued existence it must be considered functionally extinct, and almost certainly wholly extinct. The sightings either represent another subspecies imported to Java, or are cases of mistaken identity (presumably of leopards) or hoaxes. At least one claim of a tiger being killed (from 1984) exists, however such a report has not been confirmed and is most probably in error, though it cannot be definitively ruled out as this is within the estimated date of extinction for the species.



Java, Indonesia


Biology & Ecology




MCZ 42144 (skin and skull; sex unspecified)



Above: photo by H. Salzwedel between 1870-1892. Source: Wikimedia Commons.


Source: Rossi et al. (2020)


Above: photo by F. W. Bond


Above: photo by F. W. Bond artificially coloured. Source: Wikimedia Commons.



Anonymous. (1832). Remarkable tiger hunt. Launceston Advertiser, Thursday, 9 August, p. 3.

Anonymous. (1964). A preliminary list of rare mammals including those believed to be rare but concerning which detailed information is still lacking. IUCN Bulletin 11(Special Supplement): 4 pp.

Author? (1999a). ["At the very least, there are five individuals"]. Tempo [magazine], 12-18 January, p. 38.

Author? (1999b). Rediscovery of the Javan tiger. Animals & Men 19: 6.

Heino, Matti T. et al. (2019). A Previously Undescribed Javan Tiger Panthera tigris sondaica Specimen, and Other Old, Rare Tiger Specimens in the Finnish Museum of Natural History. Mammal Study 44(1): [pagination?]. [Abstract]

Jackson, P. and Nowell, K. (2008). Panthera tigris ssp. sondaica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T41681A10509194. Downloaded on 28 January 2016.

Javan Tiger Centre website: (In Indonesian)

Joslin, Paul and Maryanka, Daphne. (1968). Endangered Mammals of the World: Report on Status and Action Treatment. IUCN Publications, New Series, Supplementary Paper No. 13: 34 pp.

Mazak, J. H. and Groves, Colin P. (2006). A taxonomic revision of the tigers (Panthera tigris) of Southeast Asia. Mammalian Biology 71(5): 268-287.

Nowell, K. and Jackson, P. 1996. Wild Cats. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Rossi, L., Scuzzarella, C. M. and Angelici, F. M. (2020). Extinct or Perhaps Surviving Relict Populations of Big Cats: Their Controversial Stories and Implications for Conservation, pp. 393-417. In: Angelici F., Rossi L. (eds.). Problematic Wildlife II. Cham: Springer.

Scott, Peter (ed.). (1965). Section XIII. Preliminary List of Rare Mammals and Birds, pp. 155-237. In: The Launching of a New Ark. First Report of the President and Trustees of the World Wildlife Fund. An International Foundation for saving the world's wildlife and wild places 1961-1964. London: Collins.

Seidensticker, John. (1987). Bearing witness: Observations on the extinction of Panthera tigris balica and Panthera tigris sondaica. In: R. L. Tilson and U. S. Seal (eds), Tigers of the World: The biology, biopolitics, management and conservation of an endangered species, pp. 1-8. Noyes, Park Ridge, NJ, USA.

Seidensticker, John and Sayano, I. (1980). The Javan Tiger and the Meru-Betiri Reserve: A Plan For Management. Gland, Switzerland: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources & World Wildlife Fund.

Wessing, Robert. (1995). The Last Tiger in East Java: Symbolic Con­tinuity in Ecological Change. Asian Folklore Studies 54: 191-218.

Whitten T, Soeriatmadja RE, Afiff SA. 1999. Ecology of Java and Bali. Prenhallindo, Jakarta. [Indonesian].

Xue, Hao-Ran et al. (2015). Genetic Ancestry of the Extinct Javan and Bali Tigers. Journal of Heredity 106(3): 247-257.

Yamaguchi, Nobuyuki et al. (2013). Locating Specimens of Extinct Tiger (Panthera tigris) Subspecies: Javan Tiger (P. T. sondaica), Balinese Tiger (P. T. balica), and Caspian Tiger (P. T. virgata), Including Previously Unpublished Specimens. Mammal Study 38(3): 187-198. [Abstract] ["Officers at the Meru Betiri National Park (TNMB) have installed five trap cameras to establish the existence of Javanese tigers (Panthera tigris sondaica), now believed to be extinct." (21 Feb. 2012)]

Forrest Galante, Extinct or Alive episode,


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