Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hippo Food

Our night camera captured a good video of a hippo feeding at a "hippo lawn" a few nights ago.  

"Hippo lawns" are areas that are typically near the water where the hippos have grazed the grass down to a level much greater than the surrounding area.  

Hippo Lawn

Hippos typically feed on grass by gently swinging their head to the side, back and forth as they pull up grass with their lips.  You can really see this in the above video.  Hippos in the Mara have also been documented consuming meat.

Much has been learned about the hippos in Kenya through work done in the 1970s and a recent PhD Dissertation by Dr. Erustus Kanga, The Kenyan Hippo.  We have been working for several years on determining their effects on the aquatic systems, as was mentioned in two publications last year.  Most of our work has been on the Mara, Talek, Olare Orok and Ntiaktiak Rivers.  Brian Heath, CEO of the Mara Conservancy, summarized some of our most recent findings his Monthly Report for September, 2012.  Check it out and let us know what you think.  
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