The environment in which a species lives, such as human beings or tigers, is known as its habitat. A habitat can make or break the chances of survival for a specific species and can also make life troublesome or pleasurable. A tiger habitat is dependent upon two primary factors to make its living situation ideal. The first is a significant amount of cover in a tiger habitat, which makes stalking and hunting possible. The second most important aspect of a great tiger habitat is an abundance of edible prey with a source of water.
The basic needs for survival are food, water, and shelter. If these resources are not readily available, not only will a person or animal not experience a high quality of life, but they will struggle to survive. For tigers, this means food in the form of medium to large-sized animals, including boar, buffalo, or yak, must be present in the tiger habitat. Although these species and other favorites of tigers exist in many parts of the globe, tigers primarily live in Asia and Africa.
Equally important as the proximity to prey is an abundance of cover and a source of water. A potential feast of game could exist for the tiger, but unless they have a means for hunting, which cover provides, they would not be able to effectively catch their meals. Water is important for obvious reasons, as all living forms of life use water as a necessary survival resource.
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The presence of human beings and their industrial expansion has severely compromised both the existence of tigers as well as the potential for livable tiger habitats. Humans have expanded to all parts of the globe, often harvesting the trees and vegetation that once served to provide tigers with sources of cover for hunting. People also have valued the tiger itself for its fur as well as the symbolism of strength and courage it provides to many cultures, and so hunting has put further pressure on the species.
These factors have contributed to the demise of the once-thriving tiger population. Tigers are currently an endangered species, and there a number of laws and organizations working to protect the animal as well as the tiger habitat. Although controversial to certain groups of animal activists, zoos also serve to replicate a livable tiger habitat while protecting the animals by keeping them in captivity. These are obviously not wild environments, however, and these zoos are oftentimes for-profit enterprises, both factors contributing to the dispute over the morality of these sites.