One of World’s Greatest Migrations in Trouble

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/For-Wildebeests-Danger-Ahead.html

According to the Smithsonian Institute and many other organizations around the world, the great migration of Wildebeest and Zebras between Kenya and Tanzania and back every year. This year however, portions of the herds are turning around and going back, going against the migration. This can pose a problem as Wildebeests, or gnus, are a key species. Their travels across the lands provide nutrients for the soils and plants as well as the predators that depend on them for food.

The drought and drying climate is being considered the main problem as wildebeest follow rain clouds and storms, knowing that where there is water, there is other resources. In addition, the journey has become more dangerous. One particular event, the crossing of the Mara river by the herds has become even more dangerous. The waters of the river have been running higher and higher each year due to deforestation in its watershed, posing a rising threat to the herds and sometimes taking out thousands at one time as they try to cross.

Image (Photo credited to Suzi Eszterhas)

Rising human populations are putting pressure on East Africa to become more developed and could also pose a threat to one of the World’s great migrations. Climate change is being blamed for the intense variations in seasons from extreme flooding to extreme drought. Climate change and problems made by human development appears to be making itself more apparent.

Thanks for reading! – Kat Jackson

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