A Leap for Lion Populations

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Science  21 Jan 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5708, pp. 365-366
DOI: 10.1126/science.1108599

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Textbook models of predator population dynamics illustrate that steady increases in predator population size correlate with smooth increases in the numbers of prey. However, as Ranta and Kaitala reveal in their Perspective, these models ignore the importance of social behavior in determining population fluctuations. For example, in the lions of the Serengeti plains and woodlands, behavior of lionesses within the pride influences population growth ( Packer et al.).