Photo: Major Lion Die-Offs Linked to Climate Change



A female African lion bites onto a Cape buffalo at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania.

Research that links recent lion die offs to climate change has found that unusual droughts weaken lion prey, such as the Cape buffalo. When rains resume, disease-carrying ticks overwhelm the buffalo, which then pass the disease to the lions.

Weakened by the tick-borne disease, the lions more easily succumb to other diseases, such as canine distemper virus (CDV), for example, in 1994 and 2001.

Photograph by Suzi Eszterhas/Minden Pictures/NGS


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