DNA testing has uncovered that the Caspian tiger is not extinct, as once believed. In fact, they are so closely related to the extant Amur tiger that the two are considered the same species. A great example of how genetic methods can be used retrospectively to solve conservation problems. Genetic methods are now used in many aspects of wildlife conservation including; investigating habitat connectivity, inbreeding, parentage and diet.
In 1947, Russia banned hunting of the Caspian tiger and its close relative, the Siberian, or more properly Amur, tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), still found today in the Far East. But the edict came too late for the Caspian tiger. The last tiger in Tigrovaya Balka was glimpsed in 1958. Although a matter of debate, the legendary final wild Caspian tiger is said to have been killed in February, 1970, in Hakkari Province, Turkey. Panthera tigris virgata was extinct. Or was it?