Leopards of Serengeti, Tanzania, new research

This 11 June 2019 video is called Leopard kills Warthog – Safari Serengeti.

From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau in the USA:

Serengeti leopard population densities healthy but vary seasonally, study finds

Camera-trap study yields insights into what drives leopard population density

August 31, 2020

A study of camera-trap data from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania found that leopard population densities in the 3.7-million-acre park are similar to those in other protected areas but vary between wet and dry seasons. The fluctuations appear to be driven by the abundance of prey and how this affects interactions with other large carnivores like lions, researchers report.

Despite the long history of wildlife research in the Serengeti, this is the first peer-reviewed study of leopard densities in the park, said Max Allen, a carnivore ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign who led the research. Allen and his team analyzed data from Snapshot Serengeti, a large collaborative effort that uses hundreds of camera traps to collect data on large cats and other wildlife in the Serengeti. The team published the new findings in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation.

“In the wet season, when potential prey species like Thomson’s gazelle and impala are available in abundance, leopards appear at higher densities,” Allen said. “In the dry season, leopards seem to work harder to avoid other large carnivores that compete with them for less abundant food.”

The team used advanced analytical techniques called Bayesian statistics to estimate leopard densities for each camera-trap site and for the study area overall.

“We found 5.72 and 5.41 leopards per 100-square-kilometers in the wet and dry seasons, respectively,” Allen said. “These densities suggest the leopard populations are at moderately healthy levels in the Serengeti. This reflects the importance of large conservation areas for large carnivores, as leopard populations are generally declining across their range.”

The results also highlight the importance of citizen-scientist projects for the conservation of wild species, Allen said. Snapshot Africa is one of the most effective citizen science projects in the world, he said.

“Large carnivores at the top of the food chain play important roles in ecosystem regulation, and disease and population control,” Allen said. “The human-induced changes to habitat availability and quality are accelerating the decline of large carnivores, which are already vulnerable because they have naturally low population densities at birth.”

Understanding how carnivore populations are faring and what factors contribute to their success is essential to conserve them and the other wildlife in their ecosystem, Allen said. Capturing data about their habits through unobtrusive camera traps can lead to better management of the wild areas on which they depend.

The INHS is a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the U. of I. The INHS, U. of I. and Slovenian Research Agency supported this research.

Lions and grazing animals in Serengeti, Africa

This 2015 video from Tanzania is called WILDLIFE IN SERENGETI | Wild animals | Serengeti National Park.

From Rice University in the USA:

Where lions operate, grazers congregate … provided food is great

Lion danger can foster mixed-species herds in Africa’s Serengeti

August 17, 2020

Meals are typically family affairs for zebras, gazelles, cape buffalo and other grazing species in the African Serengeti, but in one of the first studies of its kind, ecologists have found grazing species can be more willing to share meals in areas frequented by lions.

The study, which is available online this week in the journal Ecology, was conducted by a team from Rice University, Princeton University, Wake Forest University and the University of Minnesota. They analyzed more than 115,000 camera-trap photos to see where, when and how often six of the Serengeti’s most abundant grazing species — cape buffalo, gazelle, hartebeest, topi, wildebeest and zebra — formed mixed-species groups.

“The mixed-species groups occur near places where lions like to hunt, which suggests the grazers are trying to reduce their chances of being killed by predators,” said Rice lead-author Lydia Beaudrot.

Mixed-species groups of grazers were found in 1.9% of the camera-trap photos, which were collected between 2010-2015 in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and processed by volunteers for the citizen science website snapshotserengeti.org. Camera-trap findings were combined with information from long-term GPS collar monitoring by the Serengeti Lion Project and satellite imagery that showed both the location of hunting areas favored by lions and where and when food was plentiful or scarce for grazers.

“Mixed-species groups were most likely in ‘risky’ places, like woodland habitats and near rocky outcroppings that lions use as viewsheds,” said Beaudrot, an assistant professor of biosciences.

But the threat from lions apparently isn’t the only thing grazers have to consider.

“One of the most interesting results is that grazers in mixed-species groups appear to be making a tradeoff between the risk of being eaten and the need to eat,” Beaudrot said.

Mixed-species groups were less likely to form when plant productivity was low, she said, which suggests there is a foraging cost associated with mixed-species grazing, said study co-author Meredith Palmer, a behavioral ecologist and postdoctoral fellow at Princeton.

“These animals face a trade-off,” Palmer said. “When different species group together, each individual is less likely to be eaten by a lion than it would be if it were alone or even possibly with its own species. But each individual is also foraging, and if they get further apart they don’t have to compete as much for food. As forage becomes more scarce, these animals have to decide whether the extra food they would get from grazing alone is worth the increased danger from lions.”

The study focuses on a longstanding idea in ecology called the ‘stress gradient hypothesis,’ which holds that species are more likely to compete with one another when times are good and more likely to benefit each other when they’re under stress, Beaudrot said.

“The hypothesis is supported by the findings from more than 700 plant studies, but it’s rarely been applied to animals because mixed-species behavior is rare and there typically aren’t enough data about it to draw statistically significant conclusions,” she said.

The collaboration began when Beaudrot heard Palmer describe the Snapshot Serengeti database in a talk at the 2018 Gordon Research Conference on Predator-Prey Interactions. While mixed-species groups had previously been documented in animals, including primates, cetaceans, ungulates, fish and birds, Palmer and Beaudrot realized that the size of the Snapshot Serengeti camera-trap database would allow them a rare opportunity to not simply observe mixed-species groups but to examine the ecological context within which they occur.

“Our findings partially support the hypothesis,” Beaudrot said. “On the one hand, we found mixed-species groups were more likely to occur when stress was high because of predators, but we also found that mixed-species groups were less likely to form when stress from food scarcity was high, which suggests that stress can also lead to increased competition.”

She and Palmer said there are also plenty of questions to address with follow-up research, including how mixed-species groups better protects grazers from lions.

“The larger groups could provide more warning of lions because there are more eyes for vigilance, or that individual species in the group benefit from the behavior of other species in a way that they wouldn’t if they had grazed on their own,” Palmer said. “Or it could simply be that the odds of any one individual being eaten go down if it’s part of a larger group. Our study can’t differentiate between any of those mechanisms.”

How Wildebeest Saved the Serengeti

This 6 October 2019 video says about itself:

How Wildebeest Saved the Serengeti

This breakthrough study shows how wildebeest are Serengeti keystones.

For example, gazelle, wildebeest or zebra could cue in to the presence of a predator such as a lion by seeing other species react, using the “network” to keep themselves safe. The new model by Gil, Basket and Schreiber is the first to take this kind of short-term information sharing into account at the population level: here.

Tanzania rhino update

This video is called Saving the Black Rhino.

From Wildlife Extra:

Tanzania’s rhinos – Edging back from the brink

Rhinos in Tanzania

September 2013. Tanzania is home to the Black Rhino. In Tanzania the IUCN estimate there are just 123 black rhino remaining in the wild. Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) is currently working in partnership with (Tanzanian National Parks) TANAPA and other Tanzania authorities to increase the security in Serengeti National Park and across the country. Resource protection and monitoring of rhinos (and elephants) is of top priority.

Rhino protection in Serengeti & Selous

The major threat continues to be poaching for rhino horn. FZS are convinced that with enough effort, patience, ingenuity, money and hope the rhinos of Tanzania will become a conservation success story. FZS is involved in supporting efforts to protect rhinos in Tanzania in the Serengeti National Park and Selous Game Reserve.


Black rhino were once numerous across the Serengeti. It is estimated that around 500 to 700 rhinos once roamed freely in the Serengeti Ecosystem. Poaching, however, reduced this number greatly in the 1970’s.

It was feared that none were left in Serengeti National Park, but in the 1980’s two females appeared again in the Moru area of Central Serengeti, one named Mama Serengeti.

Miraculously, one of the young bulls living in the Ngorongoro Crater left the Crater and made it over 100km to Moru where he was welcomed by the two lonely females. He has happily lived ever after in his own paradise looking after his new found harem. After his arrival four calves were born and the Serengeti National Park – Moru population now has between 25 and 30 individuals.

Mama Serengeti is still alive today and was spotted a year ago with a new calf. All three rhinos in this “starting population” are still alive today. The first five of the thirty-two rhinos scheduled to be brought from South Africa for reintroduction into the Serengeti arrived in May 2010.

The President of Tanzania, Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, remarked that they are a “stark reminder of what went wrong and the past and a lesson for what needs to be done to prevent it from happening again.”

Of these 5 rhinos, 1 died of natural causes, another sadly was poached, and another gave birth to a calf. It is estimated that there are 35 rhinos (approximately) in the Ngorongoro Crater, and possibly another 24 in Kenya’s Maasai Mara, a handful of which often cross the unmarked border into Serengeti. With these three remaining rhino populations in the Serengeti ecosystem – there is hope that in the future these remarkable animals will roam again all over the Serengeti, as they did before.

Selous rhinos – Clinging on

Rhinos in Selous Game Reserve (SGR) have suffered a very high level of poaching, particularly during the 1980s. Estimates put the population at 3,000 in 1981 which declined to 300-400 individuals by the end of the 1980s. It is thought that the rhino populations still exist, but the number is unknown. Over the last year there have been confirmed sightings of three individuals at ranger posts in the northern Selous Game Reserve. Additionally, in August 2012 two dung middens were found; one was under three months old and the other was over six months old. As there is no recent data of population numbers, it is critical timing to monitor these rhinos and ensure their continued protection.

FZS are hopeful that one day, visitors to Serengeti and Selous will again frequently spot these amazing animals.

Courtesy of Frankfurt Zoological Society.

Rhino conservation pioneer Clive Stockil from Zimbabwe believes community-based conservation is vital for the survival of African wildlife and has been at its forefront for four decades. He is the founding chairman of the Savé Valley Conservancy (which is now home to one of the country’s largest rhino populations), the chairman of the Lowveld Rhino Trust and a board member of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority. Here he talks to Wild Travel about his life work and being the first-ever recipient of the Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa – a lifetime achievement award – at the 2013 Tusk Conservation Awards: here.

October 2013. At a meeting of the five Asian Rhino range states – Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal – a common action plan was agreed with the aim of increasing the populations of Asian Rhino species by at least 3% annually by 2020: here.

October 2013. According to a Nepali National Parks’ spokesman, Nepalese police have arrested 14 people involved in rhino poaching in Nepal and India, including the ringleader: here.

African wild dogs freed in Tanzania

This video is about African wild dogs.

From Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam):

Tanzania: President Frees Captive Wild Dogs

By Mugini Jacob, 25 December 2012

Serengeti — PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has set free 11 more wild dogs in Serengeti National Park (Senapa), a move that is aimed at bringing back the endangered species in one of the country’s major tourist destinations.

“They (wild dogs) are so beautiful. This is an additional tourist attraction in the Serengeti. Let us make sure that they are safe”, President Kikwete said on Sunday shortly after setting free the wild dogs at Nyamuma area inside the world famous park.

The wild dogs were captured at Loliondo a few months ago and kept in a special sanctuary as part of the ongoing project meant to bring back the wild dogs in the park. Loliondo is part of the Serengeti eco-system but it is outside the park.

In August this year the first family (group) comprising 15 wild dogs captured in Loliondo was set free and allowed to roam within the park’s vicinity, according to Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) Director General Dr Simon Mduma.

“The first group is doing very well. All the wild dogs are alive”, Dr Mduma told President Kikwete in his brief remarks about the project. The project is being implemented by TAWIRI in collaboration with the Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa), Wildlife Division under the sponsorship of Vodacom Tanzania and Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS).

The head of the nation hailed the initiatives and called for continued support from other stakeholders. “I have been visiting Senapa quite often but the absence of wild dogs in the park is one of the things that have not impressed me.

“These are commendable initiatives but the journey is still long”, President Kikwete said. Wild dogs are at the top of the list of most endangered species internationally as is the case of black rhinos, according to Dr Mduma. The animals started disappearing from Senapa in the 1980s when diseases that included rabies struck, decimating animals in the dog family.

“There were about 500 wild dogs in Serengeti at that time. “But they started dying or disappearing in the 1980s and the last wild dog in the park was seen in 1992 at Kirawira,” Dr Mduma said. Tanapa Director General Allan Kijazi said that efforts will be made to protect as well as increase the number of wild dogs. “We are expecting these wild dogs to remain in the park and flourish,” Mr Kijazi said without going into details.

South Africa: These gorgeous images of African wild dog pups were taken by Twalu’s conservation director Gus van Dyk: here.

UAE hunting royals threaten Tanzania’s Serengeti

This video is called Serengeti – Great Migration & River Crossings in Tanzania, part 1.

From CorpWatch Blog:

Serengeti Under Threat from UAE Big Game Hunting Company

By Pratap Chatterjee

August 20th, 2012

Serengeti national park is under threat from Ortello Business Corporation (OBC) in a deal that could displace 48,000 indigenous Maasai and open it up for hunting of lions and leopards. An urgent action by Avaaz, an international campaigning group, has gathered close to a million signatures to protest the scheme.

The Serengeti region covers 12,000 square miles (30,000 square kilometers) from north Tanzania to south western Kenya. Over 2,000 lions roam the area among dozens of other species from crowned eagles to elephants and rare black rhinos. It is most famous for an annual migration during which over a million wildebeest and about 200,000 zebras travel south from the northern hills to the southern plains in October and November and then move west and north between April and June.

The region is also called Maasailand, after the semi-nomadic indigenous community that lived there for centuries until the British colonialists started to grab their lands to build ranches. Today the colorfully dressed spear carrying tribe have become a global tourist attraction.

“(O)ur vision of virgin nature has encouraged the takeover of the land by a new breed of super-rich conservationists and tourism operators,” writes New Scientist journalist Fred Pearce in his new book, The Land Grabbers. “The Serengeti has become the world’s biggest zoo, in which the Maasai warriors are reduced to decorative walk-on parts.”

One of these operators is OBC, which is based in the United Arab Emirates, and markets big game safaris. The company prefers not to speak to the media but a Conde Nast Traveler reporter sketched a profile of the company and its recent conflicts with the local Maasai.

See also here.

Tanzania Serengeti conservation victory

This video is called SAVE OUR PLANET – Serengeti road cancelled.

From Wildlife Extra:

Tanzania Government ditches Serengeti Highway

Tanzania steps up for the Serengeti and says ‘no’ to an asphalt road

June 2011. The proposed asphalt road which would have bisected the Serengeti National Park, jeopardising the world’s last great mammal migration, will not now be built, the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism has announced at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting.

As the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting comes to a close in Paris, the conservation community congratulates President Kikwete and the Tanzanian Government for their decision to reconsider the proposed North Road through the Serengeti National Park.

Roads outside the park will be upgraded

Hon. Ezekiel Maige, Tanzania’s Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, confirmed that the existing tourist route would remain as it is, while roads outside the Park to District capitals would be upgraded. “This decision has been reached in order to address the increasing socio-economic needs of the rural communities in northern Tanzania, while safeguarding the Outstanding Universal Value of Serengeti National Park,” stated the Minister.

World’s largest protected grassland and savannah ecosystem

The Serengeti National Park, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site, is the world’s largest protected grassland and savannah ecosystem, and provides the stage for one of the last terrestrial animal mass migrations on earth. Shaped by the circular march of some two million herbivores, including wildebeest and zebra, in their endless search for forage and water, the park supports one of the world’s highest concentrations of large predators, and is home to over 450 bird species. It is also of huge importance for Tanzania’s tourism and the country’s economy.

Welcoming this announcement, Dr Markus Borner from the Frankfurt Zoological Society said “We thank President Kikwete and the Tanzanian Government for recognising the importance of the Serengeti ecosystem and to balance development with conservation. We urge the international community and the donor agencies to consider providing support for the construction of a southern alignment, which will avoid Serengeti National Park.”

Alternative route

“This is a very welcome step in the right direction,” said Thomas Tennhardt, Vice President of NABU (the German BirdLife Partner). “We congratulate the Tanzanian Government and encourage them to consider the road to the South to ensure a sustainable long-term solution. As well as reducing impacts on wildlife, it would also be of considerably greater benefit to local communities. Coupled with an extension to the East of the Serengeti, it would also address the Tanzanian government’s objective to connect isolated communities to commercial centres and road networks”.

Dr Tim Stowe for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (BirdLife in the UK) added: “We are delighted the Tanzanian Government has decided to not build the road. We now encourage the Government to undertake a Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment of the Northern transport corridor route to assess alternatives which are likely to benefit the livelihoods of more communities without destroying the integrity of other important sites like Lake Natron.”

“By taking this bold decision to protect the Serengeti, the government of Tanzania has once again demonstrated its commitment to sustainable management of the country’s abundant biodiversity resources for the good of current and future generations of Tanzanians. Last year, the country received a top award for best practice in management of Lake Natron,” said Victoria Ferdinand, the Acting CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania. “The practice on the ground must adhere to this decision with TANAPA effectively controlling the traffic allowed into the Park”.

Concerns remain

“The announcement at the World Heritage Committee session is a great advance and we warmly welcome the Tanzanian Government’s far-sighted decision,” said Dr Julius Arinaitwe, Director of the BirdLife International African Partnership Secretariat. “However, there are still serious concerns about traffic through the park after upgrade of the roads either side, which will need to be fully examined as the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the North route is finalised.”

The proposed road would have been used by 800 vehicles a day by 2015 (one every two minutes) and 3,000 a day by 2035 (one every 30 seconds). Collisions between people and wildlife would have been inevitable. The road would have acted as a barrier to migrating herds of wildebeest, and the follow-on effects on predators, including one of the world’s most important lion populations, would have been catastrophic.

No asphalt in the park

The decision means that tracks through the Northern Serengeti will continue to be managed by the park authority TANAPA. Asphalt roads will not reach the border of the park but will end at Mugumu to the west (12 km from the border) and Loliondo to the east (57.6 km from the border), leaving fragile habitat on both sides of the park without asphalt roads.

Earlier this year, Federal Minister for Development Dirk Niebel announced that Germany would be willing to finance a study on alternative ways of connecting areas bordering the Serengeti in the north to the existing road network, without crossing the Serengeti. In addition, Niebel reaffirmed willingness jointly to finance an international feasibility study for an alternative southern bypass for the national park.

BirdLife Partnership welcomes Serengeti road decision: here.

The proposed construction of a highway through the Serengeti National Park has run into further trouble with the East African Court of Justice: here.

The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) will on March 15 decide whether the permanent injunction its lower division handed the government and effectively blocked the latter’s attempt to construct a highway through the Serengeti National Park should stand: here.

FRANKFURT Zoological Society (FZS) has commended the government of Tanzania for its commitment to conserve Serengeti National Park, which is one of the world’s heritage sites: here.

UPDATE Serengeti June 2012: here.

What does the Serengeti Highway decision mean for Lake Natron? Here.

Soda ash project in Lake Natron, Arusha Region, could face further delays to take off owing to lack of required clearance from environmental authorities: here.

10/11/2011 No soda ash mining at Lake Natron without addressing environmental concerns, affirms Tanzania’s Director of Environment: here.

Rapid Response team to prevent elephant – human conflict in Tanzania: here.

Lion, Cheetah, Grevy’s Zebra and Hyenas all killed on new road in Northern Kenya: here.

Tanzanian Serengeti, Lake Natron threatened

This video is called Serengeti Highway.

From Wildlife Extra:

Tanzania pressing ahead with Serengeti Highway and Lake Natron soda plant

Latest reports point to Indian industrial interests funding destructive development

April 2011. Despite the German government offering to fund a study into an alternative route for the Serengeti Highway, the Tanzanian Government seems to be pressing ahead with its plans, as well as fast tracking the development of the soda ash plant at Lake Natron, the only breeding site for Greater flamingo in East Africa.

In 2 East Africa suggests that the Serengeti Highway is being funded by industrial cash rather than the need to connect some people to Tanzania’s road system. They speculate that “This confirms a long harboured and long suggested suspicion that the construction of the equally controversial highway through the Serengeti is primarily motivated and driven by industrial and mining considerations, and not as conveniently floated ‘in the interest of the people’, unless the financial interest of and financial considerations for a ‘few people’ can meet that standard.” (Read the full article here)

Germany offers to fund alternative study

Germany’s Federal Minister for Development Dirk Niebel announced that Germany would be willing to finance a study on alternative ways of connecting areas bordering the Serengeti in the north to the existing road network without crossing the Serengeti. Tanzania’s President Kikwete called this connection of rural areas as one of the main reasons why the controversial highway is needed. In addition, Niebel reaffirmed willingness to jointly finance an international feasibility study for an alternative southern bypass for the national park. Since this alternative routing would not only be cheaper but also connect many more Tanzanians to a good road network.

Alternatives ignored in assessment

So far, Tanzania has not been responsive to the requests of the donor community as well as of environmental protection organizations to consider alternatives to the envisaged route in the north. “The draft of the environmental impact assessment, which is now available, is completely inadequate,” said Frankfurt Zoological Society Executive Director Christof Schenck. The authors come to the conclusion that the northern route would be the best, without having ever considered alternatives. In addition, the study had in no way thought through the environmental, economic as well as social consequences of that route.

Self contradictory

“The study also contradicts itself,” said Schenck, “one comes to the conclusion that the road would boost tourism and at the same time, which tourism would be the road’s big loser.” Tourism will, however, play an increasingly important role for Africa’s development and the value of pristine natural areas will increase more in the future.

Since Tanzania in May of 2010 announced wanting to build a road for freight and long-distance traffic through the Serengeti National Park, the Tanzanian government experienced a storm of protest against the project. It seems undeterred and convinced, however, that the road will have no negative impact on the national park and its wildlife.

Lake Natron

Tanzania’s President Kikwete has said that this plant must go ahead. The plant, to be built and run by the huge Indian industrial firm Tata, will extract 500,000 tonnes of soda ash every year. The works will include a series of pipes across the lake and considerable infrastructure on the shoreline, but the Tanzanian Government does not believe this will impact on flamingo breeding.

Fresh concerns as President orders Lake Natron soda ash mining fast tracked: here.

Fight for flamingos: Tanzania to mine in world’s most important flamingo breeding ground: here.

The Tata Group has denied any involvement in plans to mine soda ash at Engaruka area near Lake Natron. In March 2012, Mr. Cyril Chami who was then Tanzania’s Minister of Trade and Industry said that the government was talking to Tata Chemicals Ltd to set up a $450 million soda ash factory at Engaruka area, part of Lake Natron basin. The factory would exploit newly discovered 460 billion cubic litres of soda ash at Engaruka, and if the Tata deal went through, the Government of Tanzania would hold 46% shares through the National Development Corporation: here.

The BirdLife Partners in Africa have published a report on their experience of working with Local Conservation Groups (called Site Support Groups – SSGs in Africa). Launched at a colourful ceremony in Kinangop, Kenya, the report underlines the principle that biodiversity conservation must coincide with sustainable natural resource management for the benefit of the local people: here.

Tanzania steps up for the Serengeti and says ‘no’ to asphalt road: here.

Mining of soda ash at Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania is not economically viable, experts have warned. A new Cost Benefit Analysis report shows that projected return on investment over the next 50 years would be a loss of between $44,354,728 and $492,142,797, even if exempted from paying tax by the Government: here.

Tanzania: Lake Natron Flamingos at Risk – Expert Warns: here.

Major flamingo breeding event begins on Lake Natron: here.

September 2012. Stakeholders have given a nod of approval to a new economic analysis study showing that soda ash mining at Lake Natron is not economically viable. Speaking this week at a meeting held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to disseminate the report, participants said tourism should be promoted at Lake Natron rather than soda ash mining. The Cost Benefit Analysis report shows that projected return on soda ash investment over the next 50 years would be a loss of between $44,354,728 and $ 492,142,797, even if exempted from paying tax by the Government: here.

The Lake Natron Update Bulletin for October 2013 is out.  The latest issue highlights continued interest by the Government of Tanzania to build a soda ash plant at Lake Natron, the most important breeding site for Lesser Flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor).  BirdLife International, Lake Natron Consultative Group, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and local communities at Lake Natron are opposed to these plans citing possible breeding disruption: here.

Fri, 29/11/2013 – 08:29. The proposed soda ash mining at Lake Natron has suffered another major blow as a new scientific study shows that such an activity would “almost certainly” wipe out the Lesser Flamingo population.  The study also shows that ninety per cent of the Lake is important for flamingo survival. Lesser Flamingos also breed occasionally when conditions are right and this is difficult to predict and monitor: here.

Serengeti nature reserve threatened

This video is a Serengeti documentary.

Reports now circulating on the web suggest that the Government of Tanzania has given the go ahead for a road to be built right across the Serengeti, potentially blocking the migration route of the wildebeest, threatening the wildlife with a large amount of high speed traffic and providing easy access to many poachers: here.

Africa’s Greatest Wildlife Migration Threatened By Highway: here.

August 2010. Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have both stepped into the growing controversy over the proposed Serengeti Highway (Published in Wildlife Extra in June). Both renowned establishments are requesting that the Government of Tanzania reconsider the proposed construction of a commercial road through the world’s best known wildlife sanctuary-Serengeti National Park-and recommend that alternative routes be used that can meet the transportation needs of the region without disrupting the greatest remaining migration of large land animals in the world: here.

Serengeti highway could spell environmental disaster for Tanzania: here.

Serengeti highway will cut wildebeest herds by a minimum of 35%: here.

Tanzania: A network of local civil society organisations yesterday filed a fresh petition against the government’s intention to construct a highway across the Serengeti National Park.Mazingira Network (Manet) said the proposed highway would compromise the ecological integrity of the park which is also an important world heritage site: here.

A wildebeest calf turns the tables on a hungry lion in the Masai Mara: pictures by Paul Goldstein: here.