The short rains are going strong in the Tarangire-Manyara-Natron Ecosystem. We visited the area just before Christmas, and while most of the large migratory herds have departed from Tarangire, at least a few wildebeests and zebras remained. This is a great time for bird-watching, as winter migrants from points north are arriving, and many birds are now adorned in spectacular breeding plumage and have begun courting and building nests. Enjoy some photos from Tarangire and Lake Manyara national parks.
It is not a white Christmas but a wet Christmas here in northern Tanzania! The rain is a blessing, as it nourishes the savanna and all its inhabitants (like this soggy baby zebra in Lake Manyara National Park). We wish everyone a happy and peaceful holiday.
It is always a delight to see baby animals on our surveys, as it indicates a healthy, thriving savanna ecosystem.
To increase awareness about the importance of giraffe and other ungulates in the savanna ecosystem of Tanzania, we spoke to a gathering of more than 50 tour guides and tour operators at a meeting of the Interpretive Guides Society in Arusha. Below are 2 slideshows we presented about giraffe and ungulates.
A new article by the Wild Nature Institute's Monica Bond and colleagues argues for a change in the current forest fire paradigm. Currently, the common view holds that severe forest fires are always harmful. Bond and her co-authors propose a new paradigm that embraces the ecological necessity of severe forest fire.
"Severe fire is a natural element of healthy, dynamic forest ecosystems in Canada and the western U.S., as it has been for eons. Indeed, fire is as essential as rainfall and sunlight to many forest species," said Monica Bond, the lead author of the paper. "Old growth forests were once viewed as decadent and were logged almost to oblivion before their ecological value was recognized. It is time for severely burned forests to be given the same recognition as essential elements of a functioning and healthy ecosystem."
The article appeared in the latest edition of the Wildlife Professional, a magazine published by the Wildlife Society, the national professional association of wildlife biologists.
The Short Rains visited us yesterday after a long pause. The plants, like this Plumeria in our garden, were pleased.
We had a visit from Wild Nature Institute board member Carmen Mauk, so we showed her some of the good work we are doing in our lovely study area and brought these photos back for your enjoyment. The rains have begun, so there are many new baby animals around.
Science News and Updates From the Field from Wild Nature Institute.
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