To survive, tigers need a sufficiently large space, plenty of cover, availability of prey and access to water. These environmental features enable the tiger's predatory lifestyle. Human activity, such as industrialization and poaching, are the biggest threats to the tiger's survival.
Tigers need a lot of space to thrive. According to the natural history department of the Smithsonian Institute, the optimal living space for a tiger population of seven females and two males is the size of the District of Columbia. Human population growth has significantly reduced the space available to tigers. The constant expansion of cities has deprived tigers of 92 percent of their original hunting ground.
Tigers need to be near populations of animals upon which to prey. Tigers are voracious eaters. The common tiger eats more than 50 prey animals a year, and their average eating capacity is up to 60 pounds of meat in one night.
Water is extremely important. Not only is water the source of all life and a heat-reliever, for tigers, bodies of water are an ideal place to bathe, recuperate energy and hunt. Unlike other felines, tigers enjoy the water and are expert swimmers.
Tigers thrive in areas with a lot cover. Tigers use stealth just as much as their claws and bodily strength. Without the element of stealth made possible by ample tree coverage, it is hard for tigers to catch their prey.