According to a recent study large predators like tigers, lions and bears are more susceptible to diminishing food supply and habitat change compared to smaller animals.

The study conducted among 11 carnivorous species revealed that big animal’s need more energy to hunt for their food and when the food supply is less they have to exert more which answers the rapid decline in their number in hostile conditions.

“It’s hard work being a large predator roaming and hunting across extensive areas to find food. The apparent vulnerability of tigers and polar bears to reductions in the availability of prey may be linked to the energetic costs of being a large carnivore," explained Dr Philip Stephens, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University. "We found that the largest species exhibited a five to six fold greater decrease in relative abundance in response to a decrease in their prey."

Researchers believe that this study will benefit in the conservation of these larger carnivores. Said Dr Chris Carbone, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, the Zoological Society of London, “This study helps us to understand why large carnivores are particularly sensitive to environmental disturbance and why the protection and conservation of their habitat and, in particular, of their prey, are so important to global initiatives to save large carnivores in the wild."

His view was shared by Dr. Stephens, "The study highlights the need for more detailed study to aid carnivore conservation and shows how much more remains to be understood about the relationship between predators and their prey."

The study conducted by a group of biologists from the University of Durham and the Zoological Society of London was published in Biology Letters, a journal by Royal Society.