Maintaining connectivity among tiger populations is critical for their long-term survival in the wild. Population genetic data at 12 microsatellite loci from 116 individuals in Central India reveals connectivity is negatively impacted by dense human settlements and high-traffic roads, features likely to increase in the future with population growth and economic development. In order to investigate how populations, connectivity and genetic variation can be maintained, we simulated the impacts of future development scenarios over the next century. Unplanned development results in significant loss of genetic variation (35% lower) and an average extinction probability of 56% across protected areas. Persistence of populations will require increasing the number of tigers along with careful land-use planning to establish corridors between populations. Our approach allows quantitative evaluation of the effect of different land-use policies on connectivity and extinction, linking basic science to policy decisions.