Description and Characteristics: The
wildebeest is also know as the gnu, it come under the antelope familyas a
hooved mammal. They have an appearance of features much like a cross between a
cow and a horse.
The Wildebeest is native to Africa and there are 2
species: the Black Wildebeest, or white-tailed gnu and the Blue Wildebeest, or
brindled gnu. Gnus belong to the family Bovidae, which includes antelopes,
cattle, goats, and other even-toed horned ungulates.
(cows) are smaller than the male and have both have horns.
Feeding/drinking Habits: The main food source of
wildebeests is grasses. The seasonal nature of the African grasslands forces
wildebeest to migrate. They like to drink daily when water is available, but
can go for a few days without water.
Habitat: Its habitat consists of grassy plains
and open woodlands in southern, central, and eastern Africa. They are
especially prolific in the Serengeti National Park.
Lifespan Wildebeest grow to 1.151.4 metres at the shoulder
and weigh between 150250 kilograms. Wildebeest can live more than 20
Reproduction: The gestation
period in a female is eight and a half months, producing one offspring. The
calf is able to stand within minutes of the birth. In a few days it is able to
keep up with the herd.
Threats: The number of wildebeest has increased steadily over
recent years but human habitation leads to less grasslands which threaten their
long term numbers. The Wildebeests main predators lions and
The Wildebeest Migration in Kenya and Tanzania: The
Wildebeest Migration in East Africa, also known as The Great
Migration takes place between
Serengeti National Park and
Masai Mara and is one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on the planet.
Thousands of wildebeest and
migrate between the
Mara, constantly driven by their search for fresh grazing. The massive
herds are closely followed by predators (lion, hyena and
the most of every opportunity to catch their next meal.
timing of the annual wildebeest migration depends on the rains. It is a very
unpredictable and spontaneous natural event, with calving season taking place
in the Serengeti between January and mid-March. The wildebeest migration starts
to head towards the Western Serengeti in May or June. The best time to see the
migration is generally between June and August when the wildebeest congregate
and prepare to cross the famous Grumeti River.
If you are in the
Mara you can expect the wildebeest to make their arrival as early as July,
but they generally arrive between August & September and remain in the
Mara between October & November. Between the end of November and
January the wildebeest gradually begin their migration from the
Mara back towards the
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Wildebeest (Wild Africa) - by
Melissa Cole, Tom Leeson (Illustrator), Pat Leeson (Illustrator) Examines
the life of the wildebeest, pointing out differences between the two species,
their odd appearance and social nature, and the impact humans have had, and
continue to have, on these African bovids. Buy From (amazon.com) - USA(amazon.co.uk) - Europe