News

Africa’s wildebeest: Those that can’t migrate are becoming genetically weaker – new study

Honey
Kenya
South Africa
Innovation & Technology
Published Apr 13, 2024

Tridge summary

Recent research underscores the critical importance of migratory routes for wildebeest populations across Africa, highlighting the severe threats these migrations face from human development, including roads, railways, and urban expansion. The Serengeti-Mara migration, the last significant wildebeest migration, is under threat, with studies showing that non-migratory populations suffer from reduced genetic health due to inbreeding and genetic isolation. This not only affects the wildebeest populations, leading to lower survival rates and fertility, but also has broader ecological impacts on vegetation, other species, and local tourism. The article also discusses the dramatic decline of the Kalahari wildebeest population in Botswana, which has decreased by over 94.2% since the 1970s due to fencing that blocks their migratory paths. Conservation strategies are proposed, including protecting migration routes and critical habitats, to ensure the survival of these crucial animal migrations.
Disclaimer: The above summary was generated by Tridge's proprietary AI model for informational purposes.

Original content

Wildebeest – large African antelopes with distinctively curved horns – are famous for their great migrations on the grasslands of eastern and southern Africa. One hundred and fifty years ago, they migrated in huge numbers across the continent, in search of grazing and water and to find suitable areas for calving. Migration is crucial to sustain their large populations. But their routes are being interrupted by roads, oil and gas pipelines, railway lines, fences, cities, livestock and farmland. Today, the only remaining large migration is east Africa's famous Serengeti-Mara migration. About 1.4 million wildebeest – accompanied by about 200,000 zebras, 400,000 gazelles and 12,000 eland – cover up to 3,000km every year in a cycle that follows seasonal rainfall patterns. Even this migration is now threatened by plans for new roads and railways, uncontrolled and unplanned developments and exponential human population growth around the edges of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. We've now ...
Source: Modernghana
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