Conservationists in East Africa are baffled about wildebeests delaying their calving this year. There are speculations that the delayed calving is as a result of climate change and the increasing number of cattle in the Ngorongoro conservation area.
In nature, wildebeests have the ability to with-hold calving for up to 3months until conditions are favorable for their off springs. The wildebeests have a calving season in January and February during which about 500,000 calves are birthed with approximately 8,000 calves birthed daily.
Normally, the ungulates cross back to Serengeti, Tanzania from Masai Mara in Kenya to settle in the Southern Side of Serengeti and the northern section of Ngorongoro where they begin their breeding period in January and February.
However, this year, the wildebeests remained in the central region of Serengeti where they began breeding in March. There was light precipitation in the central part of Serengeti that saw tender grass sprout making it a suitable environment for the wildebeests to sprout.
The increasing numbers of cattle in Ngorongoro have eaten most of the grass scaring away the wildebeests from the area.
Serengeti is home to over 2 million wildebeests that give birth to approximately 500,000 calves a year. This is the first time wildebeests have delayed calving significantly-an addition to the awe of their migration as a global wonder.
Plan your visit to Ngorongoro and Serengeti to witness the wildebeests calving season and stay at the Octagon Lodge.