, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 266-268

Population regulation of Serengeti Wildebeeest: a test of the food hypothesis

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Summary

The food hypothesis proposes that density dependent mortality regulates populations through food shortage. For Serengeti wildebeest, we found an empirical relationship between dry season adult mortality rate, density and food supply. This relationship predicted that: (1) the population would stabilize between 1.0 and 1.5 million animals, (2) dry season mortality would be density dependent and sufficient to account for the levelling off of this large ungulate population. Recent observations have tested and confirmed these predictions.