Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

A newly discovered wildlife migration in Namibia and Botswana is the longest in Africa

  • R. Naidoo (a1), M. J. Chase (a2), P. Beytell (a3), P. Du Preez (a3), K. Landen (a2), G. Stuart-Hill (a4) and R. Taylor (a4)...
Abstract
Abstract

Migrations of most animal taxa are declining as a result of anthropogenic pressures and land-use transformation. Here, we document and characterize a previously unknown multi-country migration of Burchell's zebra Equus quagga that is the longest of all recorded large mammal migrations in Africa. Our data from eight adult female zebras collared on the border of Namibia and Botswana show that in December 2012 all individuals crossed the Chobe River and moved due south to Nxai Pan National Park in Botswana, where they spent a mean duration of 10 weeks before returning, less directly, to their dry season floodplain habitat. The same southward movements were also observed in December 2013. Nxai Pan appeared to have similar environmental conditions to several possible alternative wet season destinations that were closer to the dry season habitat on the Chobe River, and water availability, but not habitat or vegetation biomass, was associated with higher-use areas along the migratory pathway. These results suggest a genetic and/or cultural basis for the choice of migration destination, rather than an environmental one. Regardless of the cause, the round-trip, straight-line migration distance of 500 km is greater than that covered by wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus during their well-known seasonal journey in the Serengeti ecosystem. It merits conservation attention, given the decline of large-scale ecological processes such as animal migrations.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      A newly discovered wildlife migration in Namibia and Botswana is the longest in Africa
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      A newly discovered wildlife migration in Namibia and Botswana is the longest in Africa
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      A newly discovered wildlife migration in Namibia and Botswana is the longest in Africa
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
(Corresponding author) E-mail robin.naidoo@wwfus.org
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

T. Alerstam (2006) Conflicting evidence about long-distance animal navigation. Science, 313, 791794.

J.Berger , S.L.Cain & K.M.Berger (2006) Connecting the dots: an invariant migration corridor links the Holocene to the present. Biology Letters, 2, 528531.

R.A. Briers (2002) Incorporating connectivity into reserve selection procedures. Biological Conservation, 103, 7783.

C.J. Brooks & S. Harris (2008) Directed movement and orientation across a large natural landscape by zebras, Equus burchelli antiquorum. Animal Behaviour, 76, 277285.

L.P. Brower & S.B. Malcolm (1991) Animal migrations: endangered phenomena. American Zoologist, 31, 265276.

N. Bunnefeld , L. Börger , B. van Moorter , C.M. Rolandsen , H. Dettki , E.J. Solberg & G. Ericsson (2011) A model-driven approach to quantify migration patterns: individual, regional and yearly differences. Journal of Animal Ecology, 80, 466476.

K.P. Burnham & D. Anderson (1998) Model Selection and Multimodel Inference: a Practical Information-theoretic Approach. Springer, New York, USA.

A.C. Cameron & P.K. Trivedi (1998) Regression Analysis of Count Data. Cambridge University Press, New York, USA.

T.Caro , J.Darwin , T.Forrester , C.Ledoux-Bloom & C.Wells (2012) Conservation in the anthropocene. Conservation Biology, 26, 185188.

K.R. Crooks & M. Sanjayan (eds) (2006) Connectivity Conservation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

H. Dingle & V.A. Drake (2007) What is migration? BioScience, 57, 113121.

A.P.Dobson , M.Borner , A.R.E.Sinclair , P.J.Hudson , T.M.Anderson , G.Bigurube (2010) Road will ruin Serengeti. Nature, 467, 272273.

C.F. Dormann , J.M. McPherson , M.B. Araujo , R. Bivand , J. Bolliger , G. Carl (2007) Methods to account for spatial autocorrelation in the analysis of species distributional data: a review. Ecography, 30, 609628.

C.W. Epps , B.M. Mutayoba , L. Gwin & J.S. Brashares (2011) An empirical evaluation of the African elephant as a focal species for connectivity planning in East Africa. Diversity and Distributions, 17, 603612.

J.M. Fryxell & A.R.E. Sinclair (1988) Causes and consequences of migration by large herbivores. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 3, 237241.

R.W.S.Fynn & M.C.Bonyongo (2011) Functional conservation areas and the future of Africa's wildlife. African Journal of Ecology, 49, 175188.

M.C.Hansen , R.S.DeFries , J.R.G.Townshend , M.Carroll , C.Dimiceli & R.A.Sohlberg (2003) Global percent tree cover at a spatial resolution of 500 meters: first results of the MODIS vegetation continuous fields algorithm. Earth Interactions, 7, 115.

G. Harris , S. Thirgood , G. Hopcraft , J.P.G.M. Cromsigt & J. Berger (2009) Global decline in aggregated migrations of large terrestrial mammals. Endangered Species Research, 7, 5576.

B.T.B. Jones , A. Davis , L. Diez & R.W. Diggle (2012) Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) and reducing poverty in Namibia. In Biodiversity Conservation and Poverty Alleviation: Exploring the Evidence for a Link (eds D. Roe, J. Elliott, C. Sandbrook & M. Walpole), pp. 191205. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., London, UK.

P.A. Lindsey , P.A. Roulet & S.S. Romanach (2007) Economic and conservation significance of the trophy hunting industry in sub-Saharan Africa. Biological Conservation, 134, 455469.

J.M. Morales , D.T. Haydon , J. Frair , K.E. Holsiner & J.M. Fryxell (2004) Extracting more out of relocation data: building movement models as mixtures of random walks. Ecology, 85, 24362445.

N.Pettorelli , J.O.Vik , A.Mysterud , J.-M.Gaillard , C.J.Tucker & N.C.Stenseth (2005) Using the satellite-derived NDVI to assess ecological responses to environmental change. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 20, 503510.

R.J. Power & R.X.S. Compion (2009) Lion predation on elephants in the Savuti, Chobe National Park, Botswana. African Zoology, 44, 3644.

H. Sawyer & M.J. Kauffman (2011) Stopover ecology of a migratory ungulate. Journal of Animal Ecology, 80, 10781087.

D.S.Wilcove & M.Wikelski (2008) Going, going, gone: is animal migration disappearing? PLoS Biology, 6(7), e188.


Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary Materials

Naidoo Supplementary Material
Table S1

 PDF (329 KB)
329 KB