Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Africa & the Middle East (
-   -   Tanz experts - need your help (

torgirl Feb 7th, 2007 02:57 PM

Tanz experts - need your help
Hello all,
I wondered if anyone has any current info on the population of wildebeests in the Serengeti - Bill H, I see you just got back - did you hear any latest numbers and if so can you give me the source of the info? I see that Andy Biggs says on his blog site that the latest census of wildebeests is at 3 million. Am writing a university paper on the Serengeti and trying to find the latest numbers and source of the info.
Any help would be appreciated. Have emailed Andy but of course, lucky guy is on safari right now.

Geelong2007 Feb 7th, 2007 04:46 PM

Try the Serengeti Research Institute or Frankfurt Zoological Society
this is attached to Frankfurt University
Also the University of Milan does a lot of research in Tanzania they also probably can help
If you contact Tanzanian National Parks
they will be probably able to give you their email addresses and also more upto date info

Bill_H Feb 7th, 2007 06:19 PM

I didn't see Andy's blog, but I thought the 3 million figure was for "large animals", which would include several hundred thousand zebras and several hundred thousand Tommies, plus smaller numbers of Grant's, eland, lions, buffalo, ellies, hartebeest, topis etc.

The largest count I saw for wildebeests was around 1.5 million (or about half the 'large animals') but I have no source for that. I don't know if they do a complete census every year as it is expensive.

Check with Geelong's sources, though the Serengeti Research Institute near Seronera has changed names to, IIRC, Serengeti Wildlife Research Center (SWRC) or something similar. Also I met a professor from Finland on the flight over who is doing research for the Tanzania Wildlife Research Center, so maybe check with them as well if you can find a link.

We saw one herd a bit south and east of Gol kopjes that I would guess had 300,000 wildebeests and another larger herd south-east of Ndutu near the Maswa district that probably had 500,000 - 600,000 wildebeests, so there are for sure a lot of 'em.

If you get a definitive number could you post it on this forum? Thanks ...



santharamhari Feb 8th, 2007 05:13 AM


Where can i find Andy's blog site? link if possible.......thks...


Bill_H Feb 8th, 2007 06:31 AM

<b>Where can i find Andy's blog site? link if possible</b> home page, then there's a Blog link ... he does indeed say &quot;The most recent census of the wildebeest puts the population at around 3 million strong&quot; ... not sure if this is just for Serengeti eco-system or wider area, since I've never seen an estimate this high, nothing over 1.7 million several years ago.

Here's a different count, 1.4 million in the 2005 census ... ... since they had a serious drought the past three years (breaking finally last March after the calving season) I'd guess the numbers were down a bit from 2005, but this year the conditions look ideal on the plains, so they should have a bumper crop of calves.

Eben probably follows these census figures pretty closely, maybe he'll chime in with some links to actual census data from the biologists.

Regardless of the exact number, just being in the midst of a herd of several hundred thousand is mind-blowing enough, whether the total eco-system count is 3 million or half that :)


torgirl Feb 8th, 2007 11:24 AM

Wow - thanks all for your very helpful suggestions...I will definitely chime in when I can report what numbers I find and where, and I'll let you know when I hear Andy's reply.
I agree Bill, nothing like being in the midst of the herds. How I long to return someday...

andybiggs Feb 13th, 2007 12:34 PM

howdy, everyone. Just back from 21 days in Tanzania, and still reeling from the jet lag. I have tons of emails to reply to, as well as photos to process.

I heard the number from a former member of Craig Packer's organization back in September. I have no idea if it is correct or not, but I had included the number in a recent blog entry of mine. I will dig around a bit deeper to get a good number. I am genuinely interested myself. 3 million does seem a bit high, but there was some supporting information that he had told me to make it sound believable.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:05 AM.