Where the antelope once roamed: the demography and movement patterns of a migratory ungulate population in a human-altered landscape

Thomas Morrison

Migratory ungulate populations are declining worldwide due to anthropogenic activities, such as habitat loss, loss of connectivity and poaching interfering with the biological properties of the migratory cycle. This project focuses on a declining population of migratory wildebeest in Northern Tanzanian. This population has declined approximately 8-fold in the last 20 years and is currently around 3000-5000 individuals total. While the cause of the decline in the recent past is unclear, circumstantial evidence suggests that a combination of habitat loss and illegal hunting are responsible. To help elucidate current and future threats to the population, this project has two central goals: 1) to estimate demographic parameters (population size, reproductive and survival rates) in the wet and dry seasons and 2) to estimate the rates of fidelity to breeding sites during the wet season.