According to an article appearing on Science Daily (10 May 2017) African lions are now under the same threats of extinction that wiped out sabre-toothed tigers at the end of the last ice age. Primarily, this extinction was to loss of prey that the sabre-tooths depended on for food so as the prey began to die and go extinct so did these large cats. Scientist now say that the African lion now faces extinction for the same reason and so do the world’s other big cats such as the Sunda clouded leopard.
The study was conducted by the University of Sussex and other institutions. They concluded that ice age trends can now be applied to our own modern day big cats. In studying the extinction of several ice age big cats they discovered that if these animals were alive today only an average of 25% of their preferred prey would still remain across their natural regions. The research team postulated that the devastating loss of prey species was a major contributing factor in the extinction of these ice age big cats.
The team also concluded that if prey species keep disappearing in modern times that our own big cats will soon move into extinction and go down the same path as that of the ice age cats.
Obviously, our climate today is changing and I really don’t think there is much debate about that other than what it might be changing to. It would be very unfortunate to see our own modern big cats disappear as these are beautiful animals. Hopefully, something can be done to prevent this impending extinction.