Post Lab Research Featured - Wildebeest Mass Drownings

Wildebeest Crossing the Mara River
June 20, 2017

A new paper from the Post Lab published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explores mass drowning of wildebeest during their annual migration. Each year 1.2 million wildebeest migrate from Tanzania into Kenya where they repeatedly cross the Mara River. During these iconic river crossings, wildebeest drown by the hundreds to thousands. 

Subalusky et al. (2017) estimates that 6250 carcasses and 1100 tons of biomass enter the Mara River each year - the equivalent biomass of around 10 blue whales. The carcasses feed crocodiles, vultures, and the aquatic food web as they decompose. Bones from the carcasses provide a long-term source of phosphorus for aquatic producers and consumers. 

News stories:

Yale University Press release and video:

Cary Institute press release

Science Magazine story and video

Washington Post

The Atlantic

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