Jonathan Scott is preparing to present Big Cat Live with Simon King from the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Last week, we heard from Simon King that the bulk of the Wildebeest herd had already moved over and across the River Mara but they have returned to the Masai Mara following heavy rains. These migrating Wildebeest do not need to be back on the short grass plains of the Serengeti until early next year when the cows that are currently pregnant will give birth. For now, they are slowly marching between fertile grazing areas.
This year's migration is apparently not as dramatic as in previous years and this may be a result of competition for resources from a growing human population. The resident population of Wildebeest on the Mara has dramatically declined from 100,000 to 20,000. these Wildebeest migrate between their breeding areas in the east during the wet season and their dry holding areas. However, the rise in wheat farming and other commercial agriculture has forced Wildebeest from their natural habitats.
Wildebeest are not the only African creature that is being affected by a growing human population. Last week we heard that Lions have been venturing outside protected areas and coming into contact with humans. This week we heard from Craig Packer of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour at the University of Minnesota. Craig tells us that in and around the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania around 100 people a year are now being attacked by man-eating Lions.