There are two major reasons the great cats are vanishing in the wild: habitat destruction and poaching.
Sure, a tiger only requires fifty or so square miles for his territory, but there must be other tigers, and other territories, for the species to survive. And the territories must have ample game to feed the tigers. A tiger, for example, needs around one hundred hoof stock each year for food, and that hundred needs hundreds of others to support them. And the hundreds need other species of plants and animals for them to survive.
As human populations increase into the tiger's territory, the food the hoof stock needs is destroyed, who then vanish. In other words, there must be a good ecosystem surrounding the tiger's territory.
The other problem, poaching, will not likely be solved for lack of manpower and genuine interest by the governments. The incentive for poaching is just too great. When a man with a large family can get the equivalent of three years salary by killing and selling one tiger, it requires too many wildlife agents and too much funding to stop it.
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