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Do moon phases affect the migration in the dry season?

Do moon phases affect the migration in the dry season?

Feb 21st, 2009, 02:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Do moon phases affect the migration in the dry season?

Have you noticed any correlation between the herds crossing the Mara River, or doing anything else, and the phases of the moon?

Maybe I have a PhD thesis here. I think I should devote 6 years to the study.

Ha ha, but my question is serious. I have not found an answer.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 21st, 2009, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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I thought, when reading the title of your post, that it would definitely need a long onsite study. Hey, go for it! Seriously, though, it's an interesting question. My understanding of the Migration is that the movement of the herds are dependent on the rains and resulting grasses. Last September the herds were in Kenya, but when it started raining early in the northern Serengeti, they started pouring back across the border. If the Mara or any other river is in the path of those herds, it will be crossed.
ShayTay is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2009, 02:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Wouldn't it be terrific to be able to speak to the wildebeest, to find out more about their motivations?

I would especially want to know why so many of them cross the Mara, then retrace their steps and cross back in the other direction (lather, rinse, repeat).
DonTopaz is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2009, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Believe the moon has impact on the "calving" of the wildies,in February; sometime around the new moon. Yet, it's not unusual for those in the Ngorongoro Crater to calve earlier than those at Ndutu/SESerengeti.

At to the moon/river crossings, with such large herds arriving at the crossing points between June thru Oct/Nov, whether Tanzania or in the Mara, doubtthe moon has much to do with these very confused animals that cross and then recross (rizzuto) and cross again.

Observation only, not scientific.
sandi is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2009, 05:41 AM
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I too was under the impression that the moon had something to do with calving. That makes me think the moon may have something to do with wildebeest mating, unless the wilde moms have some control over when they give birth.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2009, 05:53 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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I think it has to be with the smell of fresh rainfall and senses....... If they sense it has rained after they have crossed, they will re-cross to where they came from. Like within the Mara itself, they cross and re-cross etc etc., right? Atleast, this is what I've seen on the TV documentaries.
HariS is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2009, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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I join rizutto here. All gzides we aksed told us the birth of the young ones are related to the rains. When food is plenty the wildebeest start calving - Feb into March depending on rainfall.

The moon has an impact on to the predators which don't hunt as much during full moon.

spassvogel is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2009, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
Id never heard anything of the influence of the moon on wildebeest and was going to say something silly, but then I googled and found that Richard Estes says that the rut is possibly triggered by the full moon. http://www.rarespecies.org/wbeest.htm

6 years would not be enough. A lifetime in the Mara is needed and Im the perfect assistant. Who pays?
Nyamera is offline  

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