Large carnivores are important ecosystem components but frequently suffer local extinctions. However, reintroductions and shifting
conservation attitudes have lead to some population repatriations. Since the ecological consequences of predation may relate to indirect
effects of predation risk, reconstruction of carnivore ecosystem function could depend on adequate predator recognition by prey.
We evaluated behavioral responses in naive and lion exposed impala (Aepyceros melampus), blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus),
and warthogs (Phacochoerus africanus) to audio calls of a native (African lion Panthera leo) and an alien (grey wolf Canis lupus)
predator as well as to unfamiliar (music) and familiar (running water) neutral controls. Our results demonstrated stronger behavioral
responses to lions than to any of the other calls, even in naive populations, and suggest that retained predator recognition may enable
rapid reconstruction of carnivore ecosystem function throughout Africa. However, since recognition may be lost in large increments,
we urge that carnivore repatriations should be a prioritized component of African ecosystem conservation.