In males, blue wildebeest stand 150 cm tall at the shoulder and weigh around 250 kg, while the black wildebeest stands 111 to 120 cm tall[29] and weighs about 180 kg. Bulls may occupy territories, usually about 100 to 400 m (300 to 1,300 ft) apart, but this spacing varies according to the quality of the habitat. [53], The estrous cycle is about 23 days and the gestation period lasts 250 to 260 days. The common wildebeest inhabits plains and acacia savanna ecosystems from southeastern Africa to central Kenya. [19], Blue wildebeest fossils dating back some 2.5 million years ago are common and widespread. The Animals tend to migrate to across the savanna, Zebras, gazelles, and Wildebeest look for water while predators like Lions, Cheetahs, and Leopards follow those animals to prey on them, and scavengers as Hyenas and Vultures eat the left overs of the predators. [17] The split does not seem to have been driven by competition for resources, but instead because each species adopted a different ecological niche and occupied a different trophic level. In the female, all except a pair of very large submetacentric chromosomes were found to be acrocentric. Nevertheless, some fall prey to large carnivores, especially the spotted hyena. [12], The wildebeest, genus Connochaetes, is placed under the family Bovidae and subfamily Alcelaphinae, where its closest relatives are the hartebeest (Alcelaphus spp. Wildebeest. The blue wildebeest was first known to westerners in the northern part of South Africa a century later, in the 1800s. Tel: +27 (0) 15 793 1265 [58] The silky, flowing tail of the black wildebeest is used to make fly-whisks or chowries. A study of these hybrid animals at Spioenkop Dam Nature Reserve in South Africa revealed that many had disadvantageous abnormalities relating to their teeth, horns, and the wormian bones in the skull. This species is not found on. They are relentless in their advance and will swim rivers and lakes in such huge masses that many are injured, lost (especially in … [51], Wildebeest can also listen in on the alarm calls of other species, and by doing so, can reduce their risk of predation. Wildebeest usually breed at the end of the rainy season when the animals are well fed and at their peak of fitness. The wildebeest is the mascot of the GNU Project[61] and GNU operating system. Its range includes Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Angola. The reason for the decline is thought to be the increasing competition between cattle and wildebeest for a diminishing area of grazing land as a result of changes in agricultural practices, and possibly fluctuations in rainfall. So we have taken it upon ourselves today to share a few of the better qualities of this much maligned animal. – JabuGin for G&T & Elephant Lovers, A Soulful Safari for Kids at Jabulani with JabuJuniors. [30] The milk of the female black wildebeest contains a higher protein, lower fat, and lower lactose content than the milk of the blue wildebeest. [48] In the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania, wildebeest may help facilitate the migration of other, smaller-bodied grazers, such as Thomson's gazelles (Eudorcas thomsonii), which eat the new-growth grasses stimulated by wildebeest foraging. Wildebeest are continually on the move as they seek favorable supplies of grass and water, and are active during both day and night. Their horns help them defend themselves. Among Africa's many savanna regions, the Serengeti is the best known for its size and the majestic annual migration of thousands of wildebeest. The black wildebeest has brown-coloured hair, with a mane that ranges in colour from cream to black, and a cream-coloured tail. In females, blue wildebeest have a shoulder height of 135 cm and weigh 180 kg while black wildebeest females stand 108 cm at the shoulder and weigh 155 kg. [41], Each year, some East African populations of blue wildebeest have a long-distance migration, seemingly timed to coincide with the annual pattern of rainfall and grass growth. The blue wildebeest was at first placed under a separate genus, Gorgon,[16][17] while the black wildebeest belonged to the genus Connochaetes. [57] Illegal hunting is a major conservation concern in many areas, along with natural threats posed by main predators (which include lions, leopards, African hunting dogs, cheetahs and hyenas). Description The Blue Wildebeest, also known as the Gnu, is an African bovid with broad shoulders, cow-like horns, and a broad muzzle. Other chromosomes were acrocentric. Large carnivores were rarer still, with only lions remaining after the war. The alarm calls were a response of the baboons to lions, and the contest calls were recorded when a dispute between two males occurred. [56], Today, many wildebeest populations are experiencing rapid declines. Two Blue wildebeests large antelopes walking in dry grass at the evening in savanna. [28] It is a notable feature of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and the Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia. [39], In the Maasai Mara game reserve, a non-migratory population of blue wildebeest had dwindled from about 119,000 animals in 1977 to about 22,000 in 1997. It belongs to the family Bovidae, which includes antelopes, cattle, goats, sheep, and other even-toed horned ungulates. [32] Wildebeest, however, are very strong, and can inflict considerable injury even to a lion. They can be found in habitats that vary from overgrazed areas with dense bush to open woodland floodplains. [62], This article is about the animal. [15] Finally, two distinct types of wildebeest – the blue and black wildebeest – were identified. This enables them keep up with the rest of the herd. [11] Others contend the name and its pronunciation in English go back to the word !nu: used for the black wildebeest by the San people. The estimated price for wildebeest meat was about US$0.47 per 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) around 2008. [54] The main predator of the calves is the spotted hyena. [39] In the Serengeti and Tarangire ecosystems, populations are mostly migratory, with herds consisting of both sexes frequently moving, but resident subpopulations also exist. [25] The differences in social behaviour and habitats have historically prevented interspecific hybridisation between the species, but hybridisation may occur when they are both confined within the same area. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists both as least-concern species. They are economically important for human beings, as they are a major tourist attraction. [28] The meat of females is more tender than that of males, and is the most tender during the autumn season. [15], In the early 20th century, one species of the wildebeest, C. albojubatus, was identified in eastern Africa. [30] Wildebeest are a regular target for illegal meat hunters because their numbers make them easy to find. For other uses, see, Wildebeest herding and following zebra in the Serengeti National Park, International Union for Conservation of Nature, "Wildebeest | Define Wildebeest at Dictionary.com", "wildebeest noun – definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus – Cambridge Dictionaries Online", "wildebeest – definition of wildebeest by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia", "gnu noun – definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus – Cambridge Dictionaries Online", "gnu – definition of gnu by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia", "Whence the Wildebeest: An Implausibility of Gnus", "Trophic ecology of two savanna grazers, blue wildebeest, "Hybrid Wildebeest (Artiodactyla: Bovidae) Provide Further Evidence For Shared Signatures of Admixture in Mammalian Crania", "Chromosome analysis in the Kruger National Park: The chromosomes of the blue wildebeest, "Hybrid wildebeest (Artiodactyla: Bovidae) provide further evidence for shared signatures of admixture in mammalian crania", "Great Wildebeest Migration | Maasai Mara", "Tarangire revisited: Consequences of declining connectivity in a tropical ungulate population", "A multi-method approach to delineate and validate migratory corridors", "Group Dynamics of Zebra and Wildebeest in a Woodland Savanna: Effects of Predation Risk and Habitat Density", "Migratory herds of wildebeests and zebras indirectly affect calf survival of giraffes", "Illegal meat hunting in Serengeti: dynamics in consumption and preferences", Information and Research on wildebeest movements in Masai Mara, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wildebeest&oldid=999451760, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Pages using multiple image with auto scaled images, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 10 January 2021, at 07:00. [34] It inhabits open plains, grasslands, and Karoo shrublands in both steep mountainous regions and lower undulating hills at altitudes varying between 1,350 and 2,150 m (4,430 and 7,050 ft). [42] The timing of their migrations in both the rainy and dry seasons can vary considerably (by months) from year to year. The Savanna … [49], Zebras and wildebeest group together in open savannah environments with high chances of predation. Their dull teeth grind what they eat. Blue wildebeest are responsible for the thunderous noises you’ll hear once in a while, as they’re prone to stampeding. Mobile: +27 (0) 82 922 0120 [27], Both species of wildebeest are even-toed, horned, greyish-brown ungulates resembling cattle. Fossil records suggest these two species diverged about one million years ago, resulting in a northern and a southern species. Both these wildebeest are numerous and can be seen regularly while hunting. Clowns they may be, but they are resilient, determined and distinctive. [37] It is no longer found in Malawi but has been successfully reintroduced into Namibia. [15], The wildebeest is depicted on the coat of arms of the Province of Natal and later KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The blue wildebeest is one of 2 species of wildebeest found on the African continent. They also provide important products, such as leather, to humans. They numbered about 250,000 in 1960 as compared to approximately 1.5 million today. At the end of the wet season (May or June in East Africa), wildebeest migrate to dry-season areas in response to a lack of surface (drinking) water. The front end of their body is heavily built, while the hindquarters are slender with spindly legs. Home ranges of about 10 individuals or join together in larger aggregations, and can transmit and... ), animals quickly move back to their wet-season ranges up to kilograms... 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