The Kob migration (South Sudan)

Image by Animal Picture Society

In 2011 a new country was created in Africa: South Sudan. This country is roughly the size of France. Before the split there had been a civil war going on much of the time for over 50 years. After the split there was a brief period of calm and scientists were able to go into the country to asses the state of the wildlife.

Astoundingly, despite the extraordinary length of fighting, among much wildlife, there existed a land migration

that was a similar spectacle to the Serengeti migration. There were around 800,000 White eared Kob, but adding in the Mongalla Gazelle and the Topi, you have a migration of around 1.3 million animals, which is comparable to that in the Serengeti.

Of particular excitement, the huge migrating herds are stalked by large prides of lions and lots of cheetah. However, even better it was found that Wild Dog also stalked the herds. This is interest because the Serengeti have lost their Wild Dog. Wild Dog, being highly social animals, are highly prone to mass die-offs if they have contact with domestic dogs, as they die from illnesses that do not kill the dogs immediately. If there is a significant population of Wild Dog, it would suggest that this ecosystem is functioning well. There have even been Oryx spotted, which were thought to be extinct in the wild.

It is hoped that in the future this could develop into a tourism hub that could bring in millions of pounds to help rebuild this impoverished area. I certainly hope that I will one day be able to go and explore this lost wilderness.

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