People, Environment

African Lions Facing Old Threats

African Lions Facing Old ThreatsAfrican Lions Facing Old Threats

The seven big cats that went extinct toward the end of the last Ice Age, including several saber-toothed cats, are those which lost the biggest proportion of their prey. That's the conclusion reached by an international team of scientists who believe the African Lion and sunda clouded leopard are next on the list. The team researched the cause of extinction of four types of saber-toothed cats, the cave and American lions, and the American cheetah, Eurasia Review reported.  They discovered that if these animals were alive today, only 25% of their preferred prey species would still remain across their former natural ranges; a majority have gone extinct, partly due to human pressure. “Where prey species have, or are likely to become extinct, this poses a serious risk to the big cat species that feed on them and we now know this is the continuation of an unhappy trend that began during the last Ice Age," Chris Sandom, from the University of Sussex, said. They also report that prey diversity within the geographical ranges of tiger, leopard and cheetah puts them at risk, too.

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