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Art Woods, Marty Martin
Why is the Serengeti such a special ecosystem? Why does it support so many different species, and what ecological processes regulate the enormous population sizes of its dominant large-bodied herbivores?
On this episode, we talk with Tony Sinclair, professor emeritus of zoology at the University of British Columbia, about his new book “A Place Like No Other: Discovering the Secrets of Serengeti”. Since the 1960s, Tony has studied the bottom-up and top-down processes that regulate wildlife populations in the Serengeti. We talk about how he discovered the major rules of regulation, the unique geography and climate of the Serengeti, the major forces driving wildebeests on epic annual migrations, and the roles that elephants play in stabilizing ecosystems into alternative stable states. We also talk with Tony about the controversial topic of rewilding degraded ecosystems. Tony argues that effective strategies for rewilding emerge only from understanding the fundamental processes that shape ecosystems in the first place.
Cover photo: Keating Shahmehri
Length of Episode
1 hour, 18 minutes, 58 seconds
Digital File Format
Woods, Art and Martin, Marty, "Episode 072: Stability and Change: Lessons from the Serengeti" (2021). BigBiology Podcasts. 73.