The consequences of predation for prey population dynamics depend on the extent to which this mortality is predisposed by malnutrition or senescence, or additive in the sense that animals that would otherwise not have died at that time were killed. In places lacking effective predators, few adult ungulates die during the summer or wet season months when food is plentifully available. Hence the seasonal distribution of predator kills as well as the age and sex classes of the prey indicates the extent to which malnutrition contributes to mortality as well as other influences on vulnerability. Using records of animal deaths assembled over 35 years in South Africa's Kruger National Park, these patterns were investigated for 12 ungulate species forming the prey of lions, and for three other large predators with respect to one prey species. Buffalo, kudu and giraffe were more strongly represented in kills made during the late dry season, while wildebeest and zebra made relatively greater contributions during the wet season. Impala, waterbuck, warthog and rarer antelope species became more prominent in kills during transitional periods between seasons. Five prey species showed an elevation in representation of males in lion kills during the mating season, as well as impala for all predator species. Females were more prominently represented in kills during the time of late gestation and parturition for three prey species. Hence reproductive activities as well as changing vegetation cover and food resources affected vulnerability to predation. Shifts in susceptibility to predation over the seasonal cycle corresponded with rainfall-related variation in the annual representation of these ungulate species in lion kills. The availability of vulnerable prey species, age and sex classes at different stages of the seasonal cycle helps maintain a high abundance of lions. These factors contribute to the strong additive impact that predation has had on the abundance of some of these ungulate populations.