Zebra and wildebeest symbiotic relationship

Plains Zebra BIO

zebra and wildebeest symbiotic relationship

Symbiotic relationships are usually between two species but there may be more than Zebra and Wildebeest are found together on the African savanna grazing . Zebra and wildebeest usually maintain a symbiotic relationship, eating different the parts of the same plants in the savanna and are often seen. Ostriches also have a relationship with the Zebra for almost the same reasons. All together, these animals (Ostrich, Zebra, Gazelle, Wildebeest) can make the.

zebra and wildebeest symbiotic relationship

Zebra are often found together with wildebeest as the zebra tend to feed on long tough grass stems preparing them for the broad muzzle of the wildebeest, more suited to close short grasses.

Contrary to popular belief, lions and other carnivores do not migrate with the grazing animals but feast on them when their paths cross. Why do the animals migrate?

Equus burchelli (Plains Zebra) -BIO203

What the animals are in essence doing is following the rains in search of lush new grass. Taking advantage of the strongly seasonal conditions, the wildebeest are spending the wet season on the plains in the south-east, and the dry season in the woodlands of the north-west.

zebra and wildebeest symbiotic relationship

The animals themselves, however, play a role in shaping their environment to their needs just by the sheer weight of their numbers. The km pilgrimage is an ongoing cycle of movement and dispersal that is not continually in forward motion.

zebra and wildebeest symbiotic relationship

The wildebeest need to drink daily and their movement is very much dominated by the accessibility of water and they seem to have a sixth sense in following the storms. This epic journey has no real beginning or end.

Botswana Safaris | Interspecies Relationships | Botswana Wildlife Guide

The River Crossings The famous spectacle of the crossing at the Grumeti and Mara Rivers has been well documented by film makers and photographers. Forced on by the power of the herd the wildebeest have no choice but to take a suicidal plunge into the crocodile infested waters often drowning in their thousands.

How can I witness the Migration? There is no real right or wrong time to visit East Africa see the migration as each season offers its own highlights. It is, however, important to be in the right area at the right time of year.

Why Zebra and Wildebeest (Gnu) are best buddies in the African Savanna

Jan — Early Mar Serengeti This is the season when the wildebeest calves are born over a week period, making it one of the most popular times to visit the Serengeti. As there is an abundance of food around in the form of defenceless young wildebeest, sightings of lions, hyenas, and other predators are particularly good during this time. Thankfully because so many calves are born in such a short time the predators do not have time to eat them all.

During these months it is best to choose a camp or lodge in the southern plains of the Serengeti or Ngorongoro Conversation Area. This will be the height of the rainy season.

zebra and wildebeest symbiotic relationship

Herds are groups of harems and bachelor males that can change in a matter of hours or days Fischhoff et al. These herds are another way that the plains zebra protects themselves from the many predators on the plains such as cheetahs. These herds are not just full of zebras they are also filled with all types of other plains animal.

To learn more about the significance of the hierarchy and social structure of the plains zebra click here to explore the team at Princeton studying plains zebra.

  • Inter-species Relationships | Botswana Wildlife Guide

A species that is seen with plains zebras a lot is the blue wildebeest a similar herbivore. They live in rather close proximity to each other on the plains but the close proximity does have some draw backs.

The Wildebeest Migration Explained

The competition for similar food is a stronger force than the fear of predators in the dry season when food is scarce, so the plains zebra put more distance between themselves and the wildebeest Shorrocks Shorrocks also hypothesizes that the zebra try to stay close to the wildebeest because they slower wildebeest is an easier prey for the large carnivores of the plains.

Other than the wildebeest the plains zebra interact with a lot of other grazing herbivores on the savannah like the giraffe and African elephant. The interactions between Equus burchelli and the large predator of the plains is a prey-predator relationship.

Zebra & Wildebeest Stampede

The plains zebra is the regular prey of lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, and Nile crocodile Cavendish This is particular higher with lions which account for the most zebra deaths Fischhoff et al. The zebra does have some advantages it is always hyper vigilante from these predators.

Other interactions of the plains zebra are the Strongyloides sp.