The most iconic Wildlife Migrations mapped around the World
All over the world animals great and small, take part in incredible migrations that see them travel hundreds of kilometres at a time. To witness it is spectacular, not least because it’s an instinctive and natural process, something which would never happen in human society.
Whether it’s for survival or breeding purposes, to give their young a fighting chance, or to move with the seasonal rains, dozens of different species partake in some form of migration every year, traversing the dynamic and varied landscape they call home in search of something better.
One striking aspect of wildlife migration is that wherever you visit, accompanied by an expert wildlife guide, you are likely to see unique animals and nature involved in behaviours which have evolved over thousands of years.
At Ampersand Travel, we strive to understand the importance of the natural processes these species take in their habitat. That’s why we decided to create an interactive map charting the progression of different species’ migrations throughout the year.
We looked at a number of the most well-known migrations around the world, such as the wildebeest in Tanzania that travel from the Serengeti to the Ikorongo Game Reserve in search of abundant grass plains. We also explored the migration of the black cranes in Bhutan; one of the rarest birds in the world, the incredibly diverse route is taken by only 300 birds a year.
One of the most interesting migration routes we discovered during our research was that of the Makgadikgadi zebras in Botswana. There is some evidence that points to this zebra migration taking place during the first half of the 20th century, covering about 250 kilometres from the south-eastern Okavango Delta to the grasslands of the Makgadikgadi Pan National Park. However, during the 1950s and 60s, a series of extensive veterinary fences were put in place across Botswana in an attempt to minimise the spread of foot-and-mouth disease. These fences blocked the migration route until 2004, and so no zebras had taken this migration route for at least 40 years.
Given that zebras live for an average of 12 years in the wild, it’s safe to assume that none of the zebras that had taken the route before the fences went up were still alive in 2004, and yet within 3 years of the fences coming down some of the zebras began to migrate again. While it is still only 55% of the zebras that migrate to Makgadikgadi National Park, it still goes some way to highlight the genetic coding that prompts these animals to migrate. They’re not taught, but rather the zebras instinctively have these ancient migratory routes conserved in their memory.
You can view the full set of migrations here.
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