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Did everyone else know that the migration in the Serengeti/Mara is a relatively recent phenomenon?

Did everyone else know that the migration in the Serengeti/Mara is a relatively recent phenomenon?

Old Jun 9th, 2006, 02:34 PM
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Did everyone else know that the migration in the Serengeti/Mara is a relatively recent phenomenon?

I heard about this on my last trip. Previously, I'd always thought that it had been an ongoing phenomenon for quite some time. Just curious if anyone else thought so too.

http://www.masai-mara.net/masai_mara...migration.html
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Old Jun 9th, 2006, 02:49 PM
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Hard to believe isn't it. One would think the migration had been going on forever. Not so. However, I didn't realize it had only been the last 40+ years that the migration is what we see/know today... especially, the herds coming into the Mara. Had heard about this back some 6-8/years, read further and just stored it away.

Good reminder and thread, Patty!
 
Old Jun 9th, 2006, 02:52 PM
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Patty, I didn't know this. I thought they were always migrating. Rinderpest! Very interesting.

I will be sure to use this info to act knowledgeable at some point in the near future.
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Old Jun 9th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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I think that I ran across it at some point but then forgot it--it is pretty amazing how quickly the size has grown.
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Old Jun 9th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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Not everything written on websites is true, and I don't believe this statement. In fact, a little digging yielded this statement on http://www.serengeti-migration.com/pages/2/


The Serengeti wildebeest migration is as old as the history of mankind. Fossil finds in the Olduvai Gorge show that the wildebeest used the Serengeti plains seasonally more than one million years ago, long before the first modern men stalked them. For many millenniums the wildebeest followed the rains and used the Serengeti ecosystem with its mosaic of grasslands and savannahs to their advantage.
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Old Jun 9th, 2006, 03:00 PM
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Sorry but this is incorrect and a misunderstanding by the author of that page. When the migration was first counted in 1958 the population was at an all time low due to the rinderpest ourbreak in 1900. But there is no doubt the population had been larger than this before the outbreak.

There is evidence the wildebeest have been following the migration pattern long before man came on the scene:

www.serengeti.org/download/Migration.pdf

This doucment was written by a representative of the Frankfurt Zoological Society - who were responsible for setting up the initial survey.
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Old Jun 9th, 2006, 03:23 PM
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Interesting... so this isn't correct after all and I can go back to my original thought of "this has been around since the dawn of time" again?
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Old Jun 9th, 2006, 03:33 PM
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Patty, I believed it even though I had read the section on the migration on the Serengeti website.

What would you call this? A savannah equivalent of an urban legend?
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Old Jun 10th, 2006, 06:59 AM
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but the disease, finding a vaccination, rebuilding of the herds, and creation of the national parks all happened and contributed to what it is today.
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Old Jun 10th, 2006, 07:03 AM
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Fascinating. I like that "savannah equivalent of an urban legend."
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Old Jun 10th, 2006, 07:39 AM
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It’s not that strange that this legend exists. People that arrived in East Africa in the early part of the 20th century must have been sitting around campfires telling tourists in the 50s and 60s that “this migration is really a new phenomenon”. Just as conservationists panicked when the Maasai recovered their normal herd sizes, and then had them thrown out of their lands.
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