Calving Season Tanzania

Biology  12 Januany 2020

 Calving Season Tanzania 

By Jose Manuel Charro

Calving season is absolutely a memorable time in East Africa. The calving period is a relatively short period of time but an epic miracle of the mother nature. Imagine how probably is to witness the calving! During 15 o 20 days over half a million of wildebeest are born. Approximately 8000 young wildebeest are born every single day during the peak of the calving season. Babies´ adaptation speed is impressive. Newborn wildebeest take off running just minutes after being born.

The great migration, considered one of the wonders of the wild, is actually ongoing It's constantly on the move following fresh pastures. That's why wildebeest migration is totally dependent upon the rainfall patterns each year.

Around April herds of wildebeest along with zebras and gazelles start their cyclic journey: the great migration to the north. By May endless columns of wildebeest keep moving northward through Serengeti. During June herds congregate in the western corridor ready to crossing Grumeti river infested with huge crocodiles. On July and August, the wildebeest spreads out Grumeti and Ikorongo Reserves and northern Seronera. Herds face its most serious obstacle, Mara River. This event represents the climax of unbridled action in its fight for survival. Around October herds start its way back to Serengeti heading south through western Loliondo and the Serengeti National Park´s Lobo Area. By late November and December, the herds of wildebeest arrives on the plains of Serengeti, green due to rains. Wildebeest are located on south and east of Seronera, around Ndutu and including northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area. They stay here the first quarter of the year and most wildebeest calves born in a short period around february. Then on April, the circle of life starts again.

Wildebeest spends calving season on Southern Serengeti, Ndutu region and Ngorongoro Conservation Area around the crater. Volcano eruptions in the area, thousands of years ago, turned this land into nutrient-rich meadow, perfect for newborn wildebeest lactation.

Such numbers of helpless newborns is an irresistible attraction for Africa´s predators. The big cats: lions, leopards, cheetahs along with spotted hyenas, black-backed jackals and african wild dogs. During calving season the southern Serengeti and Western Ngorongoro Conservation Area host the highest concentration of predators in Africa, but mother instinct leads them to give birth on the shorter grass plains where predators are easier to detect. The rest of herd forms a protection barricade around birthing mothers.

If you are travelling to Tanzania during this period, you will have the chance to witness the circle of life: the endless fight between hungry predators and protective mothers.

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