Serengeti

The Serengeti (/ˌsɛrənˈɡɛti/) ecosystem is a geographical region in Africa. It is located in northern Tanzania. It spans approximately 30,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi).

The Serengeti hosts the second largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world, which helps secure it as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa,[1] and as one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world.[2] The Serengeti is also renowned for its large lion population and is one of the best places to observe prides in their natural environment.[3] The region contains the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and several game reserves.

Approximately 70 large mammal and 500 bird species are found there. This high diversity is a function of diverse habitats, including riverine forests, swamps, kopjes, grasslands, and woodlands.[4] Blue wildebeests, gazelles, zebras, and buffalos are some of the commonly found large mammals in the region.

There has been controversy about a proposed road to be built through the Serengeti.[5]

Serengeti is derived from the Maasai language, Maa; specifically, "Serengit" meaning "Endless Plains".[6]

Serengeti sunset-1001
Sunset near Seronera Camp
Parks Tanzania
Map of Tanzania showing the country's national parks, including the Serengeti National Park

History

Much of the Serengeti was known to outsiders as Maasailand. The Maasai are known as fierce warriors and live alongside most wild animals with an aversion to eating game and birds, subsisting exclusively on their cattle. Historically, their strength and reputation kept the newly arrived Europeans from exploiting the animals and resources of most of their land. A rinderpest epidemic and drought during the 1890s greatly reduced the numbers of both Maasai and animal populations. The Tanzanian government later in the 20th century re-settled the Maasai around the Ngorongoro Crater. Poaching and the absence of fires, which had been the result of human activity, set the stage for the development of dense woodlands and thickets over the next 30–50 years. Tsetse fly populations now prevented any significant human settlement in the area.

By the mid-1970s, wildebeest and the Cape buffalo populations had recovered and were increasingly cropping the grass, reducing the amount of fuel available for fires.[7] The reduced intensity of fires has allowed acacia to once again become established.[8]

In the 21st century, mass rabies vaccination programmes for domestic dogs in the Serengeti have not only indirectly prevented hundreds of human deaths, but also protected wildlife species such as the endangered African wild dog.[9]

Great migration

Wildebeest-during-Great-Migration
Migrating wildebeest
Wildebeest crossing river - Stefan Swanepoel
Wildebeest crossing the river during the Serengeti migration

Each year around the same time, the circular great wildebeest migration begins in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area of the southern Serengeti in Tanzania and loops in a clockwise direction through the Serengeti National Park and north towards the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya.[10] This migration is a natural phenomenon determined by the availability of grazing. The initial phase lasts from approximately January to March, when the calving season begins – a time when there is plenty of rain-ripened grass available for the 260,000 zebra that precede 1.7 million wildebeest and the following hundreds of thousands of other plains game, including around 470,000 gazelles.[11][12][13]

During February, the wildebeest spend their time on the short grass plains of the southeastern part of the ecosystem, grazing and giving birth to approximately 500,000 calves within a 2 to 3-week period. Few calves are born ahead of time and of these, hardly any survive. The main reason is that very young calves are more noticeable to predators when mixed with older calves from the previous year. As the rains end in May, the animals start moving northwest into the areas around the Grumeti River, where they typically remain until late June. The crossings of the Grumeti and Mara rivers beginning in July are a popular safari attraction because crocodiles are lying in wait.[11] The herds arrive in Kenya in late July / August, where they stay for the remainder of the dry season, except that the Thomson's and Grant's gazelles move only east/west. In early November, with the start of the short rains the migration starts moving south again, to the short grass plains of the southeast, usually arriving in December in plenty of time for calving in February.[14]

About 250,000 wildebeest die during the journey from Tanzania to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in southwestern Kenya, a total of 800 kilometres (500 mi). Death is usually from thirst, hunger, exhaustion, or predation.[2]

Ecology

Lioness-in-the-Serengeti
Lioness on a kopje, or rock outcropping
Masai Giraffe, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania (2010)
Masai giraffe in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Serengeti - Stefan Swanepoel
River and the Serengeti plains

The Serengeti has some of East Africa's finest game areas.[15] Besides being known for the great migration, the Serengeti is also famous for its abundant large predators. The ecosystem is home to over 3,000 lions (Panthera leo), 1,000 leopards (Panthera pardus),[16] and 7,700 to 8,700 spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta).[17].The East African cheetah are also present in Serengeti.

Wild dogs are relatively scarce in much of the Serengeti. This is particularly true in places such as Serengeti National Park (where they became extinct in 1992), in which lions and spotted hyenas, predators that steal wild dog kills and are a direct cause of wild dog mortality, are abundant.[18]

The Serengeti is also home to a diversity of grazers, including African buffalo, warthogs, Grant's gazelle, eland, waterbuck, and topi. The Serengeti can support this remarkable variety of grazers only because each species, even those that are closely related, has a different diet. For example, wildebeests prefer to consume shorter grasses, while zebras prefer taller ones. Similarly, dik-diks eat the lowest leaves of a tree, impalas eat the leaves that are higher up, and giraffes eat leaves that are even higher.

The governments of Tanzania and Kenya maintain a number of protected areas, including national parks, conservation areas, and game reserves, that give legal protection to over 80 percent of the Serengeti.[4]

The southeastern area lies in the rain shadow of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area's highlands and is composed of shortgrass treeless plains with abundant small dicots. Soils are high in nutrients, overlying a shallow calcareous hardpan due to natrocarbonatite eruptions from Ol Doinyo Lengai.[19] A gradient of soil depth northwestward across the plains results in changes in the herbaceous community and taller grass. About 70 kilometres (43 mi) west, acacia woodlands appear suddenly and stretch west to Lake Victoria and north to the Loita Plains, north of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The sixteen acacia species vary over this range, their distribution determined by edaphic conditions. Near Lake Victoria, floodplains have developed from ancient lakebeds.

In the far northwest, acacia woodlands are replaced by broadleaved Terminalia-Combretum woodlands, caused by a change in geology. This area has the highest rainfall in the system and forms a refuge for the migrating ungulates at the end of the dry season.[20][21]

Altitudes in the Serengeti range from 920 to 1,850 metres (3,020 to 6,070 ft) with mean temperatures varying from 15 to 25 °C (59 to 77 °F). Although the climate is usually warm and dry, rainfall occurs in two rainy seasons: March to May, and a shorter season in October and November. Rainfall amounts vary from a low of 508 millimetres (20 in) in the lee of the Ngorongoro highlands to a high of 1,200 millimetres (47 in) on the shores of Lake Victoria.[22] The highlands, which are considerably cooler than the plains and are covered by montane forest, mark the eastern border of the basin in which the Serengeti lies.

The Serengeti plain is punctuated by granite and gneiss outcroppings known as kopjes. These outcroppings are the result of volcanic activity. Kopjes provide a microhabitat for non-plains wildlife. One kopje likely to be seen by visitors to the Serengeti is the Simba Kopje (Lion Kopje).

The area is also home to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which contains Ngorongoro Crater and the Olduvai Gorge, where some of the oldest hominin fossils have been found.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Seven Natural Wonders of Africa". Seven Natural Wonders.
  2. ^ a b Partridge, Frank (20 May 2006). "The fast show". The Independent (London). Archived from the original on 19 December 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2007.
  3. ^ Nolting, Mark (2012). Africa's Top Wildlife Countries. Global Travel Publishers Inc. p. 356. ISBN 978-0939895151.
  4. ^ a b http://www.ath.aegean.gr/srcosmos/showpub.aspx?aa=8868. Retrieved 9 February 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Highway Development Threatens Serengeti". Serengeti Watch.
  6. ^ Briggs, Phillip (2006), Northern Tanzania: The Bradt Safari Guide with Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar, Bradt Travel Guides, p. 198, ISBN 978-1-84162-146-3
  7. ^ Morell, Virginia (1997), "Return of the Forest", Science, 278 (5346): 2059, doi:10.1126/science.278.5346.2059
  8. ^ Sinclair, Anthony Ronald Entrican; Arcese, Peter, eds. (1995). Serengeti II: Dynamics, Management, and Conservation of an Ecosystem. University of Chicago Press. pp. 73–76. ISBN 978-0-226-76032-2. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  9. ^ "Trevor Blackburn Award 2008" (PDF). British Veterinary Association. September 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 January 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  10. ^ "The Great Wildebeest Migration: Exploring Africa's biggest wildlife phenomenon". 2017.
  11. ^ a b Anouk Zijlma. "The Great Annual Wildlife Migration – The Great Migration of Wildebeest and Zebra". About.com. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  12. ^ "How to Get There, Ngorongoro Crater". Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania. 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Ngorongoro Conservation Area". United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  14. ^ Croze, Harvey; Mari, Carlo; Estes, Richard D. (2000). Serengeti's Great Migration. Abbeville Press. ISBN 978-0-789-20669-5.
  15. ^ Pavitt, Nigel (2001), Africa's Great Rift Valley, Harry N. Abrams, p. 122, ISBN 978-0-8109-0602-0
  16. ^ "Cheetahs on the Edge - Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine". ngm.nationalgeographic.com. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Mpala Live! Field Guide: Spotted Hyena | MpalaLive". mpalalive.org. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  18. ^ Angier, Natalie (11 August 2014). "African Wild Dogs, True Best Friends". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  19. ^ "The Strangest Volcanoes In The World – A Non-Official List". 28 March 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  20. ^ Sinclair, A. R. E.; Mduma, Simon A. R.; Fryxell, John M. (2008), Serengeti III: Human Impacts on Ecosystem Dynamics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 11, ISBN 978-0-226-76033-9
  21. ^ Sinclair, A. R. E.; Mduma, S. A.; Hopcraft, J. G.; Fryxell, J. M.; Hilborn, R.; Thirgood, S. (2007), "Long-Term Ecosystem Dynamics in the Serengeti: Lessons for Conservation" (PDF), Conservation Biology, 21 (3): 580–590, doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00699.x, archived from the original (PDF) on 22 November 2010
  22. ^ "The Serengeti National Park". Glcom.com. Retrieved 23 October 2010.

External links

Coordinates: 2°19′51″S 34°50′0″E / 2.33083°S 34.83333°E

Beer in Tanzania

Beer (known as bia in Swahili) and alcohol is an integral part of Tanzanian society and local brands hold a strong sense of national pride among the Tanzanian population. There is a considerable amount of brewing and drinking done in the country. Tanzania ranks 6th in Africa for beer consumption and contributes to over 3% of the African consumption. However, over 90% of the national consumption is either homemade or from the informal sector. Bottled beer is expensive for the majority of the population and is almost 6 times more expensive than the maize beers. Nonetheless, beer sales and taxes are a vital part of the Tanzanian Economy.

Beer is a big part of the economy and is largely dominated by Tanzania Breweries Limited and East African Breweries Limited under the local company Serengeti Breweries Limited. Both companies have some of the largest revenues in the country and are listed on the stock exchange. Tanzania Breweries Limited is the largest taxpayer in the country and almost made over 1 Trillion Tanzanian shillings in revenue in 2014.

Grant's zebra

Grant's zebra (Equus quagga boehmi) is the smallest of six subspecies of the plains zebra. This subspecies represents the zebra form of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.

Lake Eyasi

Lake Eyasi (formerly German: Njarasasee, "Njarasa Lake", and Hohenlohesee, "Hohenlohe Lake") is a seasonal shallow endorheic salt lake on the floor of the Great Rift Valley at the base of the Serengeti Plateau, just south of the Serengeti National Park and immediately southwest of the Ngorongoro Crater in the Crater Highlands of Tanzania. The lake is elongated, orientated southwest to northeast, and lies in the Eyasi-Wembere branch of the Great Rift Valley.

The principal inflow is the Sibiti River, which enters the southwestern end. The river may continue to flow somewhat year round, at least in wetter years; the other inflows are all seasonal. The second largest inflow is the Baray, at the northeast. The water carried by the Baray has increased in recent years due to deforestation of the Crater Highlands. The southwest flank of Mount Oldeani, one of the Ngorongoro volcanos, drains directly into the northeast end of the lake. Flow from the Budahaya / Udahaya River, which drains into the Yaeda Swamp to the southeast of the lake, was once second, but has decreased due to water diversion in the Mbulu Highlands. Water flow from the Serengeti is minor; the largest stream is the Sayu.

Seasonal water level fluctuations in the lake are dramatic, though the northwestern shore is constrained by the cliffs of the Serengeti Plateau. During the dry season the lake may dry up almost entirely, especially in drier years, so that Datooga herders and Hadza foragers will cross the lake on foot, but in El Niño years it may flood its banks and attract hippopotamus from the Serengeti. It is a seasonal stop for migrating flamingos. The lake supports minor local fishing in wet years, but more often catfish and lungfish are taken from the streams and springs that feed the lake. Even during wet periods, lake depths typically remain less than one metre.The Hadza are the indigenous inhabitants of the lake. They are found along most of the perimeter, though camps are few along most of the Serengeti, which is Maasai territory. The Datooga inhabit the Yaeda Valley to the southeast, the Isanzu the south, and the Sukuma across the Sibiti River in the southwest. The Iraqw traditionally lived on the other side of Yaeda, but have come in increasing numbers to the Baray, which is now the primary onion-growing region of East Africa.

Mumba Cave is an archaeological site that is located by the shores of Lake Eyasi. The site has yielded a number of Middle Stone Age and Late Stone Age artifacts.

List of ethnic groups in Tanzania

There are more than 100 distinct ethnic groups and tribes in Tanzania, not including ethnic groups that reside in Tanzania as refugees from conflicts in nearby countries. These ethnic groups are primarily of Bantu origin, with small Nilotic-speaking, indigenous, and non-African minorities. The country lacks a clear dominant ethnic majority: the largest ethnic group in Tanzania, the Sukuma, comprises only about 16 percent of the country's total population, followed by the Nyamwezi and the Chagga. Unlike its neighbouring countries, Tanzania has not experienced large-scale ethnic conflicts, a fact attributed to the unifying influence of the Swahili language.The ethnic groups mentioned here are mostly differentiated based on ethhnolinguistic lines. They may sometimes be referred to together with noun class prefixes appropriate for ethonyms: this can be either a prefix from the ethnic group's native language (if Bantu), or the Swahili prefix wa.

Maasai Mara

Maasai Mara National Reserve (also known as Maasai Mara, Masai Mara and by the local people as The Mara) is a large game reserve in Narok County, Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Mara Region, Tanzania. It is named in honor of the Maasai people (the ancestral inhabitants of the area) and their description of the area when looked at from afar: "Mara," which is Maa (Maasai language) for "spotted," an apt description for the circles of trees, scrub, savanna, and cloud shadows that mark the area.

It is globally famous for its exceptional population of lions, leopards and cheetahs, and the annual migration of zebra, Thomson's gazelle, and wildebeest to and from the Serengeti every year from July to October, known as the Great Migration.

The Maasai Mara National Reserve is only a fraction of the Greater Mara Ecosystem, which includes the following Group Ranches: Koiyaki, Lemek, Ol Chorro Oirowua, Olkinyei, Siana, Maji Moto, Naikara, Ol Derkesi, Kerinkani, Oloirien, and Kimintet.

Mara Region

Mara Region is one of Tanzania's 31 administrative regions. The regional capital is the municipality of Musoma. According to the 2012 national census, the region had a population of 1,743,830, which was lower than the pre-census projection of 1,963,460. For 2002-2012, the region's 2.5 percent average annual population growth rate was the thirteenth highest in the country. It was also the twelfth most densely populated region with 80 people per square kilometer. ==

The neighboring regions are Mwanza Region and Simiyu Region (to the south), Arusha Region (to the southeast), and Kagera Region (across Lake Victoria). To the northeast, the Mara Region borders Narok County and Migori County in Kenya. The Mara Region is the home of Tanzania's first president, Julius Nyerere. The Mara Region was also the birthplace of Benga music.

Odd Nosdam

David P. Madson (born 1976), better known by his stage name Odd Nosdam, is an American underground hip hop producer, DJ and visual artist. He is co-founder of the record label Anticon. He has remixed tracks by a variety of bands and artists including Boards of Canada, The Notwist, and Sole.

Serengeti-Dorobo language

Serengeti-Dorobo (a nonce name) is an obscure "Dorobo" language, a few words of which were recorded in the late 19th century by Oscar Baumann. From the little data available, the language is not obviously related to any other, though the numeral system is Nilotic. It is not the only "Dorobo" language formerly spoken in the Serengeti.

Serengeti (rapper)

David Cohn, better known by his stage name Serengeti, is an American hip hop artist from Chicago, Illinois.

Serengeti (song)

"Serengeti" is a song by the Danish dance-pop duo Infernal. It was released as the lead single from their second studio album, Waiting for Daylight, in 2000.

Serengeti Express

The Serengeti Express, formerly known as the Trans Veldt Railway, is a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge heritage railway and attraction located within the Busch Gardens Tampa theme park in Tampa, Florida. Opened in 1971, the railway is about 2.2 miles (3.5 km) long, and has stations in the Nairobi, Congo, and Stanleyville sections of the park. It uses three trains pulled by four 4-4-0 steam locomotives manufactured by Crown Metal Products.

Serengeti International Airport

Serengeti International Airport (SIA) (Swahili: Uwanja wa Ndege wa Kimataifa wa Serengeti) is a proposed international airport in northern Tanzania intended to serve the Serengeti National Park.

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti National Park is a Tanzanian national park in the Serengeti ecosystem in the Mara and Simiyu regions. It is famous for its annual migration of over 1.5 million white-bearded (or brindled) wildebeest and 250,000 zebra and for its numerous Nile crocodile and honey badger.

Serengeti Park

The Serengeti Park in Hodenhagen, Lower Saxony, is a zoo and leisure park in North Germany.

Serengeti Shall Not Die

Serengeti Shall Not Die (German: Serengeti darf nicht sterben) is a 1959 German documentary film written and directed by Bernhard Grzimek.

His son, the cinematographer Michael Grzimek, died on-location during the filming of the documentary when a plane he piloted collided with a vulture.

It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1960.

Serengeti cat

The Serengeti is a breed of domestic cat, first developed by crossing a Bengal (domestic and wild hybrid) and an Oriental Shorthair. Recognized and registered by The International Cat Association (TICA), no other first generation crosses can be registered as Serengeti. From the Bengal × Oriental cross came the first foundation Serengeti. Breeders then worked with the cat to produce a cat that resembles the breed profile set by TICA.

Created by Karen Sausman of Kingsmark Cattery in California in 1994, the breed is still in the development stages, but the ultimate aim is to produce a cat that looks similar to a serval, without using any recent wild cat blood. (Bengal cats originate from hybridization of leopard cats and domestic cats. Most Bengal cats used in Serengeti breeding programs are many generations removed from these origins and possess few genetic contributions of the wild forebears except alleles affecting coat color.)

Serengetis are spotted cats, with long legs and very large, round tipped ears. They have a long neck which blends with the base of the skull without tapering. Males are generally slightly larger and heavier than females and can weigh between 10 and 15 lbs; females generally weigh between 8 and 12 lbs. Because the Bengal stock is a hybrid cat, the Serengeti is also classified as a hybrid.

They are recognized by TICA in tabby, ebony silver, ebony smoke and solid black. A group of breeders in the UK are currently working towards getting TICA to also recognise the snow spotted (a.k.a. lynx point) variety.

The tabby is known as the brown-spotted in the UK. However spots can be black or dark brown on a tan, light beige or gold background. The silver has black spots on a silver background. Ghost spotting can sometimes be seen on the solid black version.

Stephen Kebwe

Stephen Kebwe (born 13 July 1957) is a Tanzanian CCM politician and Member of Parliament for Serengeti constituency since 2010.

Unnatural Histories

Unnatural Histories is a 3-part British television documentary series produced by the BBC and BBC Natural History Unit. It takes a new look at three of the world's most iconic wildernesses; the Serengeti, Yellowstone National Park and the Amazon and discovers that far from being wild and untouched, each has been shaped over time by man. It was first broadcast on BBC Four 9–23 June 2011.

Zooniverse

Zooniverse is a citizen science web portal owned and operated by the Citizen Science Alliance. It is home to some of the internet's largest, most popular and most successful citizen science projects. The organization grew from the original Galaxy Zoo project and now hosts dozens of projects which allow volunteers to participate in crowdsourced scientific research. It has headquarters at Oxford University and the Adler Planetarium. Unlike many early internet-based citizen science projects (such as SETI@home) which used spare computer processing power to analyse data, known as volunteer computing, Zooniverse projects require the active participation of human volunteers to complete research tasks. Projects have been drawn from disciplines including astronomy, ecology, cell biology, humanities, and climate science.As of 14 February 2014, the Zooniverse community consisted of more than 1 million registered volunteers. By March 2019, that number had reportedly risen to 1.6 million. The volunteers are often collectively referred to as "Zooites". The data collected from the various projects has led to the publication of more than 100 scientific papers. A daily news website called 'The Daily Zooniverse' provides information on the different projects under the Zooniverse umbrella, and has a presence on social media.

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