Why are there no tigers on the Mongolian steppe?

2020-01-21 | Animal Expo original |

Russia has tigers, China has tigers, and even West Central Asia has had tigers in the past. Only Mongolia has not heard of tigers. Moreover, China ’s tigers live in the three northeast provinces and live in Xinjiang, but they are not found in Inner Mongolia.So why has Mongolia become a forbidden area for tigers?

Tiger's Land

Northern tigers are mainly two subspecies of Siberian tiger and Caspian tiger. The Siberian tiger is distributed in the far southeast of Russia, the north of China and the Korean Peninsula. In Russia, the territory of the Siberian tiger is mainly the most southeast corner of the country-UsuThe Lijiang River Basin and areas to the east, including the Sihot Range. In the past, Siberian tigers were also distributed in the upper reaches of Heilongjiang, but the western limit of its permanent distribution never exceeded the source of Heilongjiang. Siberian tigers are mainly distributed in the Changbai Mountains in the three northeastern provinces of China., Xiao Xing'an Mountains and Da Xing'an Mountains. Within Shanhaiguan, tigers spread westward along the mountainous areas in the northwest of Hebei, which is the so-called "North China Tiger", and later merged into the Siberian tiger. The Siberian tiger is distributed in China.The western limit entered the eastern part of Gansu Province. A young tiger was caught in Huining County in 1954 and was identified as the Amur tiger. China's Xinjiang and more western regions are the sites of the Caspian Tigers. Central Asia and Xinjiang are large deserts and the Caspian SeaThe distribution of tigers here is mainly oasis along the banks of the Caspian Sea, Aral Sea and Lake Balkhash, the most important of which are the Amu Darya and TinRiver Valley in northern Iran and the Caucasus, the Caspian tiger lives in the mountains of the woods.

Caspian Tiger, extinct in 1980

To sum up, the distribution of tigers is mainly forests. It lives in mountain forests in China, Russia, and Iran, and in the forests along the river corridors in Central Asia. The distribution of tigers in the north just bypasses Mongolia.A crescent shape, all adjacent areas are important distribution areas for tigers, only Mongolia and Inner Mongolia are not. And this is not caused by human causes, because Mongolia has no tigers in history, not originally extinct.

Tiger distribution map, quoted from "Soviet Mammals"

Introduction to Mongolian Grassland

To understand why there are no tigers in Mongolia, we must first understand the ecological environment of Mongolia. Mongolia includes Inner Mongolia and Outer Mongolia that is, the Republic of Mongolia, which is roughly divided into three ecological regions: Eastern and central Mongolia and eastern Inner Mongolia are Mongolian grasslands;Southern Mongolia, western Inner Mongolia, and western Gansu are the Gobi Desert; western Mongolia and northern Mongolia are Altai, Sayan, and Hang'ai mountains.

Mongolia grassland diagram

Mongolian steppe is a temperate steppe. Its landscape is mainly endless prairie with some bushes inlaid. Because it is located in the north of the country, the Mongolian steppe is cold in winter, hot in summer, lacks precipitation, and there is no large river flowing through it. There is noThe vast forests do not even have the sparse forest land on the African savannah. Because of the dry climate, wildfires are common on the Mongolian grasslands, and wild grasses can "endless wildfires, and the spring wind blows again", but the trees are not. This may beThere is no important reason for the growth of forests in this area. Wild animals on Mongolian grasslands include marmots, yellow sheep, Przewalski horses wild and prairie rabbits, and carnivores include dogs, rabbits,Sand foxes and gray wolves. Birds include brown horses and golden eagles.

Typical hoofed beast in Mongolian steppe: yellow sheep

The south of the Mongolian steppe is the drier Gobi Desert. There are not even long grasses here. There are only large areas of desert and scattered bushes. In the high mountains of western and northern Mongolia, there are forests and high altitudes.Mainly bare rock habitat.

Why is there no tiger in Mongolia?

Mongolia does not have tigers because Mongolia does not have an environment suitable for tigers. Tigers live in forests. Southern tigers often like to take a bath. They like closed and humid habitats. Mongolian grasslands are open and dry.Contrary to the needs of tigers.

Typical tiger habitat is dense forest

The prey of the Siberian tiger is mainly red deer and wild boar. In addition, there are mule, original musk, moose, sika deer, and bear, etc. These animals are not found on the Mongolian grassland. Because the distribution and prey species are incompatible, the Mongolian grassland becomes a tigerThe closest to Mongolia is the Siberian tiger. It lives in a staggered habitat of East Asian coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forests and North Asian Taiga forests. The westward spread stops at the eastern boundary of the Mongolian steppe.The southwest entered the North China Plain and spread along the Hexi Corridor to Xinjiang and Central Asia. This is the origin of the Caspian Tiger. Therefore, the two tiger subspecies in the north, the Amur tiger and the Caspian tiger, are closely related. Central AsiaIt is a large desert with Xinjiang, and tigers were not suitable for survival, but fortunately, there are several large lakes and rivers. Tigers live in the forest along the river corridor, and use these rivers to cross Central Asia and expand to the mountains of West Asia.

Mongolian steppe landscape

Why can't a tiger survive on the Mongolian steppe by hunting and killing gazelle and wild horses? This is because the tiger is an ambush hunter, not a hunter hunter. Its strength is strong, it has long fangs and claws.He is very good at fighting and can bring down large hoofed beasts. But he is not good at running, although he accelerates fast, but the top speed is not large, only 56 km / h, and the endurance is relatively poor, so he cannot hunt prey for a long distance. ThereforeTiger hunting requires a hidden place, it can only ambush well in the forest, and then slowly sneak into the prey to launch a surprise attack. On the endless Mongolian steppe, the tiger's trail is easy to expose, and the prey can see it all the way.Run away, the gazelle and wild horse not only run fast, but also have excellent endurance. It is difficult for tigers to catch them without ambush and raid.

Tiger ambush prey in the forest

Large cats on the grassland include lions, leopards, and cheetahs. Big cats such as lions and leopards also need a certain degree of shelter. They have sparse woodlands, bushes, and tall grass on the savanna in Africa.Grasses. Lions are social animals that can partially compensate for lack of speed and endurance through collective cooperative hunting. Only cheetahs, the fastest animals on land, can hunt antelopes on sweeping prairie. Mongolian grasslands are too wide, not onlyIt has become a forbidden area for tigers and for all big cats. There are no leopards here, neither the Far East Leopard in the east nor the North China leopard in the south. Snow leopards live in the high mountains of western and northern Mongolia, in the steppes andThere are no traces in the Gobi Desert. The largest cat in the Mongolian steppe is a rabbit badger weighing 3-5 kg.

The only feline on the Mongolian grassland: rabbit pheasant

Because there are no big cats such as tigers on the Mongolian steppe, the gray wolf is the king of the beasts here. The Mongolian wolf is the same subspecies as the northeast, usually called the Mongolian wolf. It was bullied by tigers in the northeast and was even driven out and killed., Deportation; and on the prairie, the Mongolian wolf becomes the true king.


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