Thursday, October 1, 2015

Huge wildebeest drowning in the Serengeti

Chris and I are currently back at Yale, but Geemi has been doing an outstanding job documenting wildebeest river crossings and drowning events this year in the Mara River. So far, there have been over 70 river crossings and just one drowning with 1,200 individuals. This is much fewer what we have documented over the past four years (an average of 5 drownings and ~7,000 individuals per year). All of our research thus far is on the Kenyan side of the border, but we just saw a report online of a huge wildebeest drowning that just happened on Sept. 29 in the Mara River on the Tanzanian side. From speaking with Mara Conservancy rangers, Geemi has learned the drowning happened fairly far downstream in the Serengeti, but we are still trying to find out more information. The original article was posted on Africa Geographic, and here's a photo from their story...

Wildebeest drowning in Mara River, Serengeti (photo from Africa Geographic)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

ESA 2015

Amanda, Lily and I are at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Baltimore this year.  Amanda co-hosted a session called "Danse Macabre: The Role of Migrations and Mortality in Shaping our Planet" and presented on the "Causes and consequences of wildebeest mass drownings in the Mara River, Kenya".

I gave a poster on "Tracking flood pulses and their impacts on water quality using a low-cost, open-source monitoring network in East Africa."  Data from the network is available on Thingspeak.  If you're interested in the base code that I use in the water level stations and the weather stations (take a measurement and then upload to Thingspeak via a GPRS connection), you can get it here -

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Geemi in Action

Some photos of Geemi documenting hippo aggregation numbers during extremely low flows (Thanks to Angela @ The Mara Conservancy for the photos!).

Friday, March 20, 2015

Non-seasonal wildebeest crossings and cholera outbreaks

A herd of zebra and wildebeest just crossed the Mara River, North of Serena.  Geemi got a few good pictures of it.  Here is one of them...

The Mara is amazing low right now.  We estimate the flows at around 1 m3/s at Purungat Bridge (see here for the water level data).  The zebra and wildebeest had no trouble crossing the river.

Unfortunately, the low flows are probably contributing to the cholera outbreak in the upper catchment.  Read more here - Bomet hotels closed over cholera outbreak and here - Two die of Cholera in Bomet.