Do Tigers Hibernate or Migrate During Winter?

Tigers are the largest cats on the planet. They are apex predators and live in a variety of habitats. Their habitats include mangrove forests, riverbanks, dense jungles, high mountains, etc. They are incredibly territorial and very active in their territory.

Each tiger has control over a territory of 400 to 600 square meters. However, what about the winter when everything is covered in thick snow? Do tigers hibernate in the winter? Are their activities in their territories limited in the winter?

No, they do not hibernate. However, they migrate in search of food and mating partners.

Do Tigers hibernate during winter

Here’s what tigers do in the winter

What exactly do tigers do in the winter when it’s cold and snowy, and everything is bleak? Do tigers come out in the winter season?

It is no surprise that tigers do not hibernate. They are apex hunters and like to keep a grab on the territory they rule. Instead of hibernating, they would migrate in search of food and mates.

Currently, there are six species of tigers living in the world. They are as follows,

  1. Siberian tiger
  2. Bengal tiger
  3. South China tiger
  4. Sumatran tiger
  5. Indochinese tiger
  6. Malayan tiger

Among all these tigers, only two would migrate during the winter season. They are the Siberian tiger and the Bengal tiger.

Tigers’ migration is not like other animals. More appropriately, they move hundreds of miles from one place to another along tiger corridors. Sometimes the clever hunter would follow the migratory patterns of their chosen prey to find out where they went.

Even though tigers don’t quite migrate now, there is historical proof of tigers migrating from Africa to Eurasia. These migrations happened about two million years ago, and tigers never returned to Africa.

SpeciesHabitationMigratory instincts
Siberian tigerMainly the birch forests of Russia. Also China and North Korea.They migrate hundreds of miles to find a mate.
Bengal tigerBangladesh, Bhutan, India, NepalGenerally following the migration patterns of their favored target animal, they move between different areas along tiger corridors.
South China tigerTropical rainforests and evergreen broad-leaved forests in southern ChinaDo not migrate.
Sumatran tigerRainforests of Sumatra, in Indonesia.Do not migrate.
Indochinese tigerThe tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast AsiaDo not migrate.
Malayan tigerMalaysia in southeast Asia. In particular, they live in the Malaysian states of Pahang, Kelantan, Perak, and Terengganu.Do not migrate.
Siberian tigers migrate hundreds of miles to find a mate
Siberian Tiger

What weather do tigers prefer?

Tigers may survive in various habitats and climates, but they require year-round cover, access to water, and a continuous supply of large prey. Their habitats include a range of climates as well.

Tigers’ abodes range from subfreezing zones of Siberia to hot and moist Sundarbans. They can survive in any weather conditions among these two extremes.

They are highly adaptable beasts. For example, the Bengal tiger lives in the dense mangrove forests of the Sundarbans.

Whereas the Siberian tiger lives in the snow-covered mountains of Russia. However, what all the species of tigers need most are water and large prey. Give a tiger enough water and food, and he can live to reign the land.

Siberian tigers sometimes lick snow

Do tigers like snow?

Some tigers prefer snow, and others don’t. Their likings and dislikings solely depend on their species.

SpeciesPrefers snow or not
The Bengal tigerThey are found in the eastern Himalayas. Some Bengal tigers are white in color, and people call them to snow tigers. However, Bengal tigers do not prefer snow.
The Siberian tigerThe behavior of Siberian tigers playing in the snow is not all that different from what is expected. They indeed prefer snow. Sometimes Siberian tigers would lick the snow. Scientists say that they do this to drink the water from the ice.
The South China tigerThe tiger’s primary habitat is the tropical rainforests and evergreen broad-leaved woods found in southern China. Hence, snow is not their preferred option for an ideal abode.
The Sumatran tigerThey are not big fans of snow.
The Indochinese tigerThe subtropical and tropical environments of Southeast Asia are their natural habitats. They don’t like snow.
The Malayan tigerThese tigers like to live in tropical forests due to the dense tree cover, which makes it simpler for them to ambush and catch their prey. They don’t prefer snow.


Tigers are apex hunters and like to patrol their territories. This is not different for either summer or winter. So if you’re asking do tigers hibernate or not, the answer would be no.

Tigers do not hibernate. They would prefer to take on the weather and survive by hunting and killing, no matter how hard it is to find prey.

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Team Animalia Facts

"Team Animal Facts" is an expert group of wildlife enthusiasts who are impassioned for mysteries of animal life and dedicated to exploring them.

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