zebra and wildebeest relationship

After testing for multicollinearity, we excluded closed riverine and closed woodland habitats from analyses of wildebeest group size, and closed riverine and open woodland from analyses of zebra group size. In summary, theoretical [43] and empirical evidence from a range of taxa predict that grouping is favored in open habitats and when predation risk is high.

In open scrub habitats, group size of wildebeest increased by 1.3 times (β = 0.259±0.100 SE, R2 = 0.338, Figure 3a) and those of zebra increased by 1.1 times (β = 0.101±0.084 SE, R2 = 0.544, Figure 3b) for every unit increase in lion UD. On this particular day in Mkuze Game Reserve, at the Khumasinga Hide, a herd of zebra attacked a lost wildebeest calf. For these analyses, we excluded closed riverine and open woodland habitats for both species due to multicollinearity (tolerance levels >0.749 for all other variables). Thus, differences between zebra and wildebeest in group composition were unlikely to be due to population densities, overall predation risk, or broad resource selection. ( Log Out /  Their physiology requires them to drink at least every other day, and this need is the basis for an incredibly well-developed sense of smell that allows them to detect water even when the savannah seems dry. For zebra and wildebeest, larger groups are safer in the open plains of the Serengeti as lion prefer attacking smaller groups . Wildebeest and zebra numbers Population estimates of wildebeest and zebra were made from aerial counts conducted during winter and summer months from January 1986 until January 1990, as described by Joubert (1983). This difference in physiological constraints may explain why females of wildebeest, but not zebra, avoided open riverine and closed woodland habitats, where grass quality is poor. The composition of wildebeest groups was best explained by a single top model (wi = 0.75). Wildebeest follow the rains across Tanzania and Kenya, covering a distance of between 500 to 1,000 miles each year. Furthermore, larger groups should be favored in open habitats to counteract the unavoidable danger of being detected by predators [7], while smaller groups can reduce their probability of being detected in forested habitats [11]. Group formation is common in animals [1], but the size and composition of groups are temporally and spatially dynamic, and depend on the relative costs and benefits of grouping. Yes ( Log Out /  As the wildebeest have swarm intelligence, they can avoid the dangers on their way like when crossing the river or in open land. In short, whereas blue wildebeests are migratory, black wildebeests are territorial. In this way, zebra act as lawnmowers preparing the ground for the wildebeest, and the two are never in competition for food. These large, brown herbivores move in vast herds across the plains of Africa, always on the look out for food and water. Differences in gut anatomy and therefore digestive tolerance, between these two grazers can also lead to differences in the composition of groups and the associated costs of habitat selection across the landscape. ATV and MT were supported by postdoctoral fellowships from UKZN. For analyses, group size and lion UD values were square-root transformed and habitat type was included as dummy variables.
Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. In February, the month with the highest calving rate, around 8,000 wildebeest … Although this amazing event is often referred to as the Wildebeest Migration, in this case, the hirsute antelope were far outnumbered by braying, neighing zebra.

The masses of the different species affect when they come to feed. Using generalized linear models, we examined the relative importance of habitat type (differing in vegetation density), probability of encountering lion (based on utilization distribution of all individual lions in the reserve), and season in predicting group size and composition. We publish inspiring and thought-provoking stories and photo galleries about African wildlife and safaris for our sophisticated international community. Rainfall has an effect on the population size because it helps grow the grass that the herbivores use to feed on and if it didn’t rain the me amount each year the population would decrease because there would not be enough food In our study area, adult females of both ungulate species suffer greater mortality from lion than adult males and young [20]. Ultimately, the two species are also brought together by shared needs and circumstances. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0012758.g002. However, group dynamics and the trade-offs that affect grouping of African ungulates in closed habitats or dense vegetation are less well understood. Group composition however, seemed to reflect specific social, physiological and foraging constraints of the two species, as well as predation risk. We thank K.e.r.i. In fact, group sizes remained lower in other habitats even though the probability of lion encounter was as high as that in open scrub. Between January and March, half a million wildebeest are born each year in the Serengeti.

When families of zebra merge, thereby increasing group size, the resulting proportion of females to males continues to remain stable (Figure 2b). Seeing the Great Migration in person is an awe-inspiring sight, as the plains transform as far as the eye can see into a living sea. Shown are the regression lines for the relationship between the utilization distribution (UD) of lion and group size of (A) wildebeest and (B) zebra in open scrub (filled circles, solid line) and other habitats (open circles, dashed line).

All other predictor variables were included (tolerance levels >0.764 for all variables). The composition of zebra groups was best explained by three top models (wi = 0.82). Yes No, Is the Subject Area "Predation" applicable to this article? Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The single uncollared lion was always located with a group of collared lions and thus complete information on the locations of all lion within the reserve was obtained.
Photography / Video / Content: Dagmar Roscher, The annual safety assessment, which Rhulani Safari Lodge has to go through to authorize…, We still have our morning coffee in hand, go to the office, want to start our working day.…, On safari with our very first guest since the reopening, Mr John Pickering and his wife…. You might wonder why Zebras and Wildebeests (Gnus) love to hang out together in the African savanna. ( Log Out / 

One reason is that Zebras love to eat the taller grass and Wildebeest the shorter grass – it’s a kind of symbiosis. Group sizes of wildebeest (n = 133) and zebra (n = 116) ranged from 1–16 individuals, and showed a typical right-skewed distribution where smaller groups were more common than larger groups (Figure 2). Ex: the zebra needs more grass than the gazelle because of their weight difference. de Boer & Prins (1990) found a strong association between zebra and wildebeest. So look out for these “best friends” during your next game drive at Rhulani Safari Lodge. Females of zebra are also more vulnerable than males to predation by lions in general [12], [20].

For more information about PLOS Subject Areas, click Another reason is that Zebras and Wildebeests love the open African savannas – in comparison to Kudus or other antelopes that prefer the thicker bush. Conceptualized the paper: MT ATV. Karongwe Ecological Research Institute, Schagen, South Africa. For this study, we used a vegetation map of KGR that was categorized into five habitat types that differ in vegetation density: Closed riverine (1.6% of area), Open riverine (15.8%), Closed woodland (54.4%), Open woodland (24.1%), and Open scrub habitat (4.1%), in order of decreasing structural density [19]. Here we examine the landscape-level distribution of groups of blue wildebeest, Connochaetes taurinus, and Burchell's zebra, Equus burchelli, to test the hypothesis that group size and group composition are a function of minimizing predation risk.

Research and Global Vision International (GVI) research staff for help with data collection. We conducted this study in a predominantly woodland landscape in the Karongwe Game Reserve, South Africa, where these two ungulate species occur at relatively similar densities (2.5±0.5 SD wildebeest/km2; 1.8±0.2 SD zebra/km2) and are known to form mixed-sex and -age herds. The wildebeest has long horns comeing out its front, and can easily defend off predators while the ostrich, zebra, and gazelles get away. Web design and content by Flow Communications, Rhulani’s safety assessment: Confirmed authorization for the UK market, Lions at the hide: “I could see the yellow in her eyes”, First cheetah birth in Madikwe Game Reserve, Web design and content by Flow Communications, Why Zebra and Wildebeest are Best Buddies, October 26, 2020 Thus when groups of wildebeest merge, they are centered within the territories of fewer males, thereby skewing the sex ratio towards females (Figure 2a). Yes here. Wildebeests, on the other hand, have a fantastic sense of smell and can detect water even in dry savannahs. 1. Contributed funding, supervisory support, and edited the paper: RS. The timing of this Great Migration is dictated by the rains, but some of the best places to witness it in action include the Maasai Mara National Reserve and the Serengeti National Park. The black wildebeest, on the other hand, is known for its larger horns, which curve forward and up, and the darker colouring of its face and mane.

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