The Gnu's World: Serengeti Wildebeest Ecology and Life History

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9780520273191: The Gnu's World: Serengeti Wildebeest Ecology and Life History

This is the first scholarly book on the antelope that dominates the savanna ecosystems of eastern and southern Africa. It presents a synthesis of research conducted over a span of fifty years, mainly on the wildebeest in the Ngorongoro and Serengeti ecosystems, where eighty percent of the world’s wildebeest population lives. Wildebeest and other grazing mammals drive the ecology and evolution of the savanna ecosystem. Richard D. Estes describes this process and also details the wildebeest’s life history, focusing on its social organization and unique reproductive system, which are adapted to the animal’s epic annual migrations. He also examines conservation issues that affect wildebeest, including range-wide population declines.

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About the Author:

Richard D. Estes is a behavioral ecologist and chairman emeritus of the Antelope Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  He is a research associate of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and an associate of the Harvard Museum of Natural History. His books include the successful Behavior Guide to African Mammals (UC Press) and The Safari Companion. Estes chose the Serengeti white-bearded wildebeest as the subject of his doctoral dissertation while living in Ngorongoro Crater from 1963 1965. He continues to study antelope and associated mammals in the Ngorongoro and Serengeti ecosystems and is considered the world’s authority on wildebeest behavior.

Review:

"A masterful explanation of Richard Estes truly long-term studies of wildebeest . . . Both informative and entertaining." (James M. Vose Ecology 96, no. 1 2015-01-01)

"Rich in detail and conservation-related issues." (Staff Conservation Biology 2015-10-01)

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