Sep 22, 2017 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

African Lions Are Facing The Extinction Threats As The Prey Of These Big Cats Are Declining Rapidly

May 13, 2017 06:20 AM EDT

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Clockwork lion sculpture unveiled in Trafalgar Square
A lion relaxes on the banks of the Luvuvhu river at the Pafuri game reserve on July 21, 2010 in Kruger National Park, South Africa
(Photo : Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) A lion relaxes on the banks of the Luvuvhu river at the Pafuri game reserve on July 21, 2010 in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in South Africa spanning 19,000 square kilometres and is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.

A recent analysis has discovered that the African lions and also the Sunda clouded leopard are facing the risk of extinction. Lack of food is the key cause behind this situation.

Previously, seven big cats that include the sabre-toothed tigers also went extinct due to the loss of prey or shortage of food. According to BBC News, scientists reveal that this extinction took place towards the end of the last Ice Age. Shockingly the trend still exists that now threatens a number of existing big cats, the Sunda clouded leopard, and the African lions.

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The study unveils that continuous declining of the prey will add to other difficult situations like the habitat loss. Dr. Chris Sandom from the famous University of Sussex opined that loss of prey will add some extra pressure for these big cats. No doubt these Sunda clouded leopard and the African lions are already facing some stiff situations like important conflicts with the humans.

Previous facts explore that even if some big cats of the Ice Age had survived the conflicts with humans but they didn't have enough food. That means these big cats faced an acute shortage of food later period. The African lions are also facing the same situation and it is leading to the continuous decline of these big cats.

Dr. Sandom says these predators are facing this same threat consistently that began from the Ice Age. He adds that it is now necessary to change this trend. Researchers from Sussex and the Oxford Universities first monitored the actual causes responsible for the extinction of the seven big cats. This study mainly helps to discover the problems and solutions for the African lions.

The said seven big cats of the Ice Age includes four kinds of the sabre-toothed cats, the American cheetah, and the American and cave lions. Researchers revealed that if these big cats had survived until the modern times, then human influences would have played significant roles in declining the prey. This revelation helped the researchers to study and pay attention to the current big cats, Sunda clouded leopard, and the African lions. Even they studied the current status of the prey of these animals.

Popular Journal Ecography reported this research study. According to this study, it is necessary to identify the imminent risk to the biodiversity conservation and also their rapid consequences. The ultimate aim behind it is to explore the importance of preserving the prey diversity. In a word, initiatives should be taken to save the existing prey species for the sake of the African lions and other big cats.

The scientists discovered that future extinction risk of the existing prey species will bring the same fate for the modern big cats like their ancestors. In a word, the Indo-Malay leopards and the East African lions will face the same situation due to the decline of the prey. Even this would not only be applicable for the African lions, but also for the populations of some other leopards, cheetahs, and tigers.

 

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