Navigation Links
Road may disrupt migration, ruin Serengeti, study finds
Date:1/31/2011

Building a highway through Serengeti National Park may devastate one of the world's last large-scale herd migrations and the region's ecosystem, according to new research by an international team of ecologists, including a University of Guelph professor.

The study by John Fryxell, a Guelph integrative biology professor, and four other scientists from the United States and Canada appears in a recent issue of PLoS ONE, a peer-reviewed international journal published by the Public Library of Science.

The researchers studied the effects of a proposal by the Tanzanian government to build a road that would bisect the northern portion of Serengeti National Park.

The Serengeti is one of few remaining places where large-scale migrations still occur, with nearly two million wildebeest, antelope and zebras looping the plains from Tanzania to Kenya and back each year.

The researchers found that the road may cause a 35-per-cent reduction in wildebeest herds, plus direct and indirect effects on many other species and ecosystem processes.

The study did not consider other potential negative effects, such as car accidents, development or increased poaching, which would reduce herd numbers even further.

"This project has the potential to transform one of the greatest wonders in the world and one of the world's most iconic national parks," said Fryxell, who worked on the study with lead author Ricardo Holdo from the University of Missouri and professors from the University of British Columbia, Princeton University and the University of Florida.

The researchers used simulation models of wildebeest movement and population dynamics to predict the effects of the proposed highway, which could block the northern part of the migration route and access to water in the dry season.

Fryxell said that fragmenting the landscape disrupts movement patterns and the wildebeest's ability to track changes in forage resources across the landscape. The effect would be a one-third reduction in herd size.

"The wildebeest migration plays an important role in a number of key ecological processes, so this finding has important ramifications for ecosystem biodiversity, structure and function," Fryxell said.

Fryxell has studied migration for more than 30 years. Last fall, his research was featured in National Geographic's epic Great Migrations. The seven-part series took three years to produce and was filmed in 20 countries on all seven continents. Fryxell appeared in a segment on the science of migration that included his extensive footage shot in the Serengeti.


'/>"/>

Contact: Professor John Fryxell
jfryxell@uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 x53630
University of Guelph
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. From Disruptive to Productive: Unisys Predicts 2011 to be Year of Practical Application of Cutting-Edge Technologies
2. Even healthy cats act sick when their routine is disrupted
3. Why the biological clock? Penn study says aging reduces centromere cohesion, disrupts reproduction
4. Commercial road would disrupt worlds greatest migration
5. Gulf oil dispersants unlikely to be endocrine disruptors and have relatively low cell toxicity
6. Trophic cascades of disruption may include loss of woolly mammoth, saber-toothed cat
7. Stem-cell disruption induces skull deformity, UR study shows
8. Artificial light at night disrupts cell division
9. Study shows how disruption of spectrin-actin network causes lens cells in the eye to lose shape
10. Disrupting a destructive duo: U of T Mississauga researchers inhibit cancer proteins
11. UT Southwestern researchers disrupt biochemical system involved in cancer, degenerative disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/30/2017)... 30, 2017 Today, American Trucking Associations ... of face and eye tracking software, became the ... program. "Artificial intelligence and advanced ... monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels while on the ... to detect fatigue and prevent potential accidents, which ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017   Bridge ... health organizations, and MD EMR Systems , ... development partner for GE, have established a partnership ... Portal product and the GE Centricity™ products, including ... EMR. These new integrations will ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. ... company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form ... Exchange Commission. ... Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the ... on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... AMRI, a global contract research, development and manufacturing ... and quality of life, will now be offering its impurity solutions as a ... requirements for all new drug products, including the finalization of ICH M7 earlier ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression ... guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... pathology, announced today it will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going ... Pathology Associates , on digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Tbilisi, Georgia (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... disaster, taking the lives of over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living ... the greenovative startup Treepex - based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally ...
Breaking Biology Technology: