We comment on five aspects of Gray et al.’s (Biodivers Conserv, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-017-1365-1, 2017a) framework for assessing the readiness of sites for tiger reintroductions. Clarifications in numbers of tigers, available habitat and prey requirements indicate that more land and additional recovery of preferred prey species will be critical for a successful reintroduction. A focus on threat assessments and mitigations will be more important than a focus on site management tools. Local attitudes and levels of poaching require more attention than in the current assessment, as they are likely to be major obstacles to successful large carnivore reintroductions in Asia. Given the limited resources for rangewide tiger conservation, the value of such long-term initiatives must be weighed relative to the urgent need to recover and secure existing tiger populations before they also become extinct.