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Massive herds of animals found to still exist in Southern Sudan

0s. Using the same methodology, the same flight lines, the same flight height, they began an aerial survey of three of the four blocks surveyed earlier: Boma National Park, Jonglei region and Southern National Park. Covering more than 58,000 square miles (150,000 square km) and 150 hours of survey time, the team used a survey technique of flying systematically along transects making observations of all wildlife, livestock, human activities and habitat. Observers on each side of the aircraft counted animals that they observed between two sets of rods placed on the wings of the plane. Using statistical techniques of extrapolation, they calculated estimates of how many animals there were on a landscape.

To their surprise, the results in Boma showed little difference in the numbers of white-eared kob counted in the ’80s, which at the time was proclaimed one of the largest wildlife migrations on the planet.

“We estimated more than 800,000 kob in Southern Sudan,” said Fay. “If you were a gold miner and hit a vein of gold, like we found in kob, you would have found El Dorado. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that this kind of abundance in nature existed in a region after 25 years of civil war, virtually unknown to the world at large.”

“This is a homecoming for the Wildlife Conservation Society, which conducted the last wildlife surveys of white-eared kob in the region some 25 years ago before the civil war,” said Dr. Steven Sanderson, president and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society. “We are happy to be welcomed back like old friends by the Government of Southern Sudan, and we look forward to working together to safeguard this amazing wildlife treasure.”

Fay and his colleagues believe that follow-up aerial surveys and tracking will reveal that the team missed a significant portion of kob due to the animals’ movements during the surveys. As a result, they believe that there could actually be well over a million
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Source:Wildlife Conservation Society


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