ecosystem importance (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 07, 2021, 19:28 (204 days ago)

Another example:

"Part of what makes the Serengeti so special is the astonishing array of life it contains—a deeply interconnected web of thousands of animal and plant species. There are, of course, the safari favorites—elephant, lion, rhino, hippo, cheetah (pictured above), and giraffe. But there are multitudes of creatures that get little attention—the African fish eagle (a near doppelganger for the American bald eagle), the tree hyrax (a tiny distant relative of the elephant), and a hundred species of dung beetles (which navigate by the Milky Way).


"Since the 1970s, scientists have understood that the key bellwether for the health of the Serengeti is the wildebeest. The ecosystem relies disproportionately on the more than one million wildebeest moving steadily clockwise around the region, following the pattern of seasonal rains. This spectacular interactive map explains how the migration causes everything to flourish—trees and grasses, insects and birds, predators and prey.

"But the surge of human activity has squeezed the wildebeest migration routes, raising concerns about this crucial piece of the Serengeti puzzle. According to Joseph Ogutu, a Kenyan statistician whose specialty is counting wildlife populations and modeling how they will change, the number of wildebeests migrating from Tanzania into Kenya is declining, and those that do come are spending up to one and a half months fewer per year than they used to.

"In addition to the wildebeest, Kenyan conservationist and Nat Geo Explorer Paula Kahumbu points out other animals that serve as barometers to the Serengeti’s health. The greater kudu, common duiker, bushbuck, bushpig, giant forest hog, oribi, colobus monkey, sable antelope, roan antelope, and black rhino are all species that safari guides report have disappeared or nearly disappeared in recent years.

"To change course, Ogutu cites the need to reduce fencing in key areas and enact better policies regarding grazing, but he especially emphasizes the need to set aside land to protect the wildebeest migration route because, as Tanzanian ecologist Tony Sinclair has pointed out, “Without the wildebeest, there would be no Serengeti.”

Comment: as usual too many humans are getting in the way. This is a beautiful example of an important very complex system which is an answer to why dhw thinks God made too many animals on His way to producing humans. All those animals are necessary for the proper balance. Just imagine the chaos if all the lions disappeared, as the absent wolves in Yellowstone.

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