Tarangire Hill in Tarangire National Park.
_ The Masai Steppe ecosystem is a world hotspot for diversity of ungulates, or hoofed mammals. In our study area alone, there are 18 species of ungulates! Ungulates are very important grazers (of grasses and herbs) and browsers (of trees and shrubs). Some of the more well-known grazers in our study area include wildebeests, zebras, cape buffalos, elands, hartebeests, waterbucks, and gazelles, while browsers include lesser kudus, gerenuks, and of course, giraffes.
_ By eating vegetation and processing it through their digestive system, and because they are important prey for a whole host of predators and scavengers, ungulates are key animals in the shaping and maintaining of the ecosystems where they live. The Wild Nature Institute formed the Tarangire Ungulate Observatory (TUNGO) to monitor the populations of all ungulates in the Masai Steppe and to understand their habitat use and ecology. Please click on the photos of some of our ungulates below to view them full-size.
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