Each member of my research group has a specific objective in Gorongosa National Park, and their independent projects are linked by a common desire to understand the role played by large mammals in creating and sustaining savanna ecosystems.
has a passion for hippos, which (like most species) suffered greatly during Mozambique’s civil war and are now recovering. Hippos function as architects of aquatic and waterfront ecosystems like those of Gorongosa’s Lake Urema, yet surprisingly little is known about the effects of their engineering activities. Jen suspects that by mowing the lawn at night, hippos may promote the recovery of other species that prefer to nibble shorter grasses (short grass having become a rare commodity in Gorongosa following the decline of bulk grazers such as zebra and buffalo). It is even possible that hippos play a role in maintaining the very existence of Lake Urema: by moving around and stirring up sediment, hippos may prevent the lake from filling in with sand and silt.
Read Rob's full article on the Kubatana blog
or follow the latest news on the Kubatana Facebook page