(NY Times article)
The first aerial survey of southern Sudan in 25 years has revealed vast migrating herds, rivaling those of the Serengeti plains, that have managed to survive 25 years of civil war, the Wildlife Conservation Society and Southern Sudan will announce today at a news conference in New York.
J. Michael Fay, a conservationist at the Wildlife Conservation Society and explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, who has participated in the surveys, said in a telephone interview from Chad that southern Sudanâs herds of more than a million gazelle and antelope may even surpass the Serengetiâs herds of wildebeest, making the newly surveyed migration the largest on earth.
âItâs so far beyond anything youâve ever seen, you canât believe it,â Dr. Fay said. âYou think youâre hallucinating.â
Southern Sudan, an area of about 225,000 square miles, sits between the Sahara and Africaâs belt of tropical forests. Wildlife biologists have long known that its grasslands, woodlands and swamps were home to elephants, zebras, giraffes and other animals. Before the civil war, an estimated 900,000 white-eared kob (a kind of antelope) had been seen migrating there. But in 1983 wildlife research ground to a halt with the outbreak of civil war.