Tanzanian hippos in search of the last suitable water pools

Last Updated: June 9, 2016
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Hippos love the water, but recent years poor Tanzanian animals in the Great Ruaha River face a profound loss of their habitat during the dry season. During the previous decade, local river has lost much more water than usual, and the main reason of it is human use. In fact, the Great Ruaha River in Tanzania dries up, and this change has bad influence on the hippos, which are in search of the last suitable water pools. Researchers from the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) examined the scale of changes in the nature and its affection on the hippos.

German scientists have published in the journal PLoS One their Tanzanian expedition’s results. The hippos’ main problem is in lowering the water level in local the Great Ruaha River. Such a dryness makes hippos to do extensive and long distance movements for vital daytime resting sites. Big animals Hippopotamus amphibius now have to congregate in large numbers in the few remaining areas along the river containing water of suitable volume and depth. As scientifist from IZW Claudia Stommel noted:

“As a result, the hippos are likely to experience higher stress levels, because they have to move longer during daylight hours to find daytime resting sites. The potential for aggression and the competition for food also increase in such large aggregations.”

Being a one of the largest African mammals, Tanzanian hippos extremely needs in water, that’s why they prefer live in the territory with water pools and other aquatic places. River basins and lake districts are perfect for hippos. Hippos must remain submerged in water during the day to prevent overheating and severe sunburn. Otherwise they could get ill and even die, and lost on every of this Red List species is a real threat for east-Tanzanian ecosystem within the Ruaha National Park.

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