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A Month-by-Month Guide to the Wildebeest Migration

It is rated as one of the world's most spectacular natural events - every year over a million wildebeest, zebra and antelope migrate clockwise around theSerengeti-Masai Maraecosystem, taking in two different countries and making time for birthing, courting and mating on the way.

But the trouble with theWildebeest Migrationis that if you get your timing wrong, you will end up gazing out over a wildebeest-less savannah and wondering where all the animals went. You need to work outwhere to goand when.

The herds spread out in vast numbers on the southern Serengeti plains.

Based on historical data, this guide is not infallible (changing rainfall patterns make predicting the Migration an inexact science) but it will give you an idea of where the herds are likely to be.

See also:

Why go to Serengeti for Safari? Why go to Masai Mara for Safari? Why go on a Wildebeest Migration Safari?

JANUARY: The herds are in Tanzania'sSerengeti, moving south from the north-east region and into the southern Serengeti, Ndutu area and Ngorongoro Conservation area - which often means out of the confines of the (unfenced) national park itself. It is calving season - prepare yourself for lots of wobbly babies... and lots of heartbreak as predators swoop in.

FEBRUARY: The good grazing of the Southern Serengeti, Ndutu and Ngorongoro Conservation areas means the herds remain in the far south.

MARCH: They are still in the south but the grasses have all been munched up, the last calves born and the herds are starting to gather in preparation for the next leg.

APRIL: Make sure you are on the southern Serengeti plains - the wildebeest begin their northward journey, and many have left already and are in the central and even western Serengeti.

Serengeti Under CanvasandOlakira Campare mobile tented camps that follow the Wildebeest Migration across the Serengeti plains.

Opportunistic predators follow the herds, always looking for an easy kill...
Your senses will be on overdrive as you drive through stomping, bellowing herds of wildebeest.

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MAY: Wagons roll! The massed herds are on the go, huge columns of up to 40km in length can be seen as the wildebeest funnel up into the central and western Serengeti.

JUNE: Head for the central and western Serengeti - the herds are there and getting ready for the toughest part of their odyssey.

JULY: Book early - it is the Big Event: river crossings. The herds have reached the western Serengeti and Grumeti Reserves and are peering closely at the brown waters of the rivers they have to cross. Why? Huge Nile crocodiles, that is why.

AUGUST: The survivors celebrate by feasting in the northern Serengeti and begin crossing back into Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve . You need a passport to cross; the wildebeest are exempt.

Serengeti Migration Campis centrally located for all the action; on the Masai Mara side,Governors' Il MoranandRekero Campare both excellent options.

The eventful river crossings are bittersweet moments for the herds.
The herds cross the Grumeti Mara Rivers during July August - the most dramatic aspect of the Migration.

SEPTEMBER: The herds break up into smaller groups - about half of the animals remain in the northern Serengeti, the rest are swapping stories in the Masai Mara ('Did you hear that Nigel didn't make it across the Grumeti?').

OCTOBER: Your best bet is the Masai Mara but bear in mind it is a far smaller reserve than the Serengeti and there may be a lot of other visitors. The conservancies in the Mara are much less crowded and, not only will you stil be able to witness the Migration, you will also be benefitting the Maasai communities who have lived there for thousands of years.

NOVEMBER: The short rains have begun, propelling the wildebeest to leave the now denuded grasslands of the Masai Mara and back into the rejuvenated Serengeti.

DECEMBER: Fresh grazing sees the wildebeest clustered in the north-eastern Serengeti (around Lobo in particular) as well as the southern Serengeti. Calving begins again, the predators move in again, and the cycle of life begins all over again.

In the Masai Mara, head forBateleur CamporSala's Camp; if you've followed the herds back into the Serengeti, mobileSerengeti Safari Campwill put you in the right place at the right time.

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Dominic Chadbon

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FIGURE 1.

IFNα-inducible expression of family members. , NIH3T3 cells were treated with IFNα for 3 or 6 h or left untreated as indicated. Total RNA was subsequently isolated, and the expression of (), (), (), 5 (), and () was analyzed by real time RT-PCR, using specific primers and as an internal control. The data are expressed as fold increase over control untreated samples and represent the means ± S.E. of several experiments for ( = 3), ( = 7), ( = 6), ( = 4), and ( = 5). , NIH3T3 cells were treated with IFNα for 48 h, and after cell lysis, the proteins were resolved by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotted with an anti-SLFN2 antibody. , NIH3T3 cells were treated with mouse IFNα, as indicated. Cytosolic and nuclear fractions were obtained, and the proteins were resolved by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotted with an anti-SLFN2 antibody. Immunoblotting with antibodies against Lamin A and GAPDH was also performed to control for successful separation of nuclear and cytosolic fractions.

To better understand the regulation of SLFN proteins during engagement of the Type I IFN receptor, we generated and used an anti-SLFN2 antibody to directly examine the expression of SLFN2 protein after IFNα treatment of cells. This antibody was custom-generated via a commercial vendor against a conserved region in the N terminus of the protein and detects a single band at ∼44 kDa, which is consistent with the predicted molecular mass of SLFN2. As shown in Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 FlyEase hpxnwT
F , base-line expression of SLFN2 in NIH3T3 cells was clearly detectable, but treatment of cells with IFNα resulted in up-regulation of the expression of the protein ( Fig. 1 F ). We also examined the subcellular localization of the protein. In a previous study, it was shown that overexpressed FLAG-tagged SLFN2 in HEK-293T cells is exclusively expressed in the cytoplasm ( 25 ). However, FLAG tagging could theoretically interfere with the structural properties and localization of the protein, and the potential translocation of endogenous SLFN2 in response to cytokine treatment has not been known. In studies in which the localization of the endogenous protein was directly determined using the newly generated anti-SLFN2 antibody, we found that endogenous SLFN2 is exclusively expressed in the cytoplasm, and IFNα treatment does not induce its translocation to the nucleus ( Fig. 1 G ).

IFNα binding to the type I IFN receptor results in activation of STAT1, STAT2, and STAT3 transcription factors, which form various homo- and/or heterodimers that can bind specific sequences in the promoters of IFN inducible genes ( 2 Sperry Pier View Sneaker mnLq9
). In addition, IFNα-mediated gene transcription is regulated by auxiliary pathways, such as the p38 MAPK pathway ( 7 Roper Fringe Shorty fBAmXyxMr9
). To define the roles of distinct STAT proteins and the p38 MAPK in SLFN gene expression, experiments were performed using cells with targeted disruption of STAT1 , STAT3 , or p38α genes. In initial studies, STAT1 −/− MEFs and STAT1 +/+ parental MEFs were treated with mouse IFNα, and mRNA expression for SLFN1 , SLFN2 , SLFN3 , SLFN5 , and SLFN8 was determined. IFNα-dependent expression of all SLFN genes was decreased in STAT1 knock-out MEFs compared with parental MEFs, and the effect ranged from a partial impairment ( SLFN3 ) to completely defective transcription ( SLFN1 , 2 , 5 , and 8 ) ( Fig. 2 ). Similarly, IFNα-inducible SLFN expression was examined in STAT3 knock-out MEF cells. The induction of expression of SLFN1 , SLFN2 , SLFN3 , and SLFN8 genes was decreased in STAT3 knock-out cells although not abrogated ( Fig. 3 , A–C ). The expression of SLFN5 was completely STAT3-independent, and in fact, SLFN5 expression was enhanced in STAT3 knock-out cells ( Fig. 3 D ).

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© Simon Baker / Reuters

New Zealanders showed resilience in the aftermath of the quake that rocked Christchurch in autumn of 2010. Despite aftershocks, the prevailing attitude was positive and people were eager to pick up the pieces and get on with their lives. Yet a far more devastating earthquake with 185 deaths in early 2011 challenged the community’s spirit. Four years after this complex and unanticipated series of events, reconstruction efforts and insurance settlement processes are still underway.

20.02.2015
approx. 7,5 minutes

The Darfield, or Canterbury, earthquake of 4 September 2010 measured 7.1 on the moment magnitude scale (MW). It was centred 40km east of the city of Christchurch at a depth of 10km. Although the quake caused no direct fatalities, it resulted in considerable insured damage in the local rural area and in the city (currently estimated at NZ$ 10bn). The event was followed by a prolonged sequence of smaller aftershocks. The response, including assessment activities, was hampered by resource constraints, but by mid-February 2011 modest progress had been made toward commencement of reconstruction. The mood was positive and, with the exception of a small number of property owners with significantly damaged assets, attention was focused on getting back to normal. There were residential areas with liquefaction issues and some (predominantly older) buildings with heavy structural damage. In general, this was an event from which the city could recover in a well planned and measured manner, with insurance ready and able to handle claims in a routine and uncomplicated manner. The Lyttelton earthquake of 22 February changed all that.At 6.3 on the MW, the Lyttelton earthquake was weaker than the Darfield event, but was centred only 10km from the centre of the city and at a depth of only 5km. This close proximity to the city along with the underlying geology led to far greater insured damage (currently estimated at NZ$ 21.5bn) as well as 185 fatalities. Much wider residential areas of the city were significantly affected by liquefaction and shaking damage. In the Christchurch central business district (CBD), buildings of all ages suffered, predominantly from shaking, but also some liquefaction. Important areas of the city were determined uninhabitable and the CBD was subject to a lockout on safety grounds that was not fully lifted until mid-2013. Despite the lockout, a small number of buildings have remained occupied, their owners resisting settlement offers.As many as 8,000 homes were in areas of such severe liquefaction damage that authorities decided to demolish or relocate the houses, as infrastructural services could no longer be economically provided. This was typically because the land could no longer support dwelling and the low lying areas had sunk to the extent that sewage and other drainage systems relying on gravity would be ineffectual. Ultimately, 1,084 buildings of all ages in the CBD were demolished, as they presented ongoing safety issues and could not be cost-effectively repaired.

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